Congressional Update: Biden’s Build Back Better Budget Proposal Next On Agenda

On November 5, the House passed the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), by a vote of 228-208, sending the bill to the President’s desk.

Meanwhile, Congressional Democrats and President Biden continue to navigate an uncertain future for the partisan Build Back Better (BBB) reconciliation bill.

Thirteen Republicans voted in favor of IIJA passage: Reps. Don Young of Alaska; Adam Kinzinger of Illinois; Fred Upton of Michigan; Don Bacon of Nebraska; Jeff Van Drew and Chris Smith of New Jersey; Andrew Garbarino, John Katko, Nicole Malliotakis and Tom Reed of New York; Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio; Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania; and David McKinley of West Virginia.

Notably, six progressive Democrats voted against: Reps. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts; Rashida Tlaib of Michigan; Ilhan Omar of Minnesota; Cori Bush of Missouri and Jamaal Bowman and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.

IIJA passage came after months of negotiations, with many progressives agreeing to vote for the bill and moderate House Democrats agreeing to move forward with the separate $1.75 trillion BBB.

Over the summer, the Senate passed the IIJA with bipartisan support (69-30), including several senior Republican Senators voting in favor – notably Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

The $1.2 trillion bill is a product of bipartisan negotiations, and includes historic spending on roads, bridges, rail, and airports, along with electric vehicles and other clean energy investments.

President Biden is scheduled to sign the bill into law Monday.

The IIJA provides $7.5 billion in grant funding for states to partner with the private sector to build out EV charging, of which $2.5 billion is set aside for alternative fuel corridors for EV charging, hydrogen, natural gas and propane infrastructure.

The bill also provides $7.5 billion for clean energy transportation. This $15 billion for clean transportation is significantly less than the $174 billion President Biden requested specifically for EV charging.

The IIJA does not include a gas tax increase nor does it allow EV charging at rest areas. It also does not include EV user fees or additional tax credits to purchase EVs.

The IIJA does not include retrofit requirements to install automatic emergency braking systems or require rear underride protection.

The bill does include $3.5 billion for the Weatherization Assistance Program.

Most of the bill is paid for through repurposing unspent pandemic relief funds and unspent unemployment benefits.

Build Back Better Proposal

The House will now turn its attention to passing the partisan BBB legislation by the end of this year.

Speaker Pelosi gave assurances to House moderates that a vote on the BBB will occur once the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) releases a “score” identifying the total cost of the legislation.

Even if the House passes the BBB, Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) continue to raise concerns at the overall price tag of the bill.

EMA is working with its state associations and Congressional supporters to oppose a provision that would allow Americans who make over $100,000 and purchase an EV over $40,000 from claiming the EV credit.

Click Here to read the letter.

EMA is also working to reduce electrification programs that would impact small business heating fuel dealers as well as opposing onerous tax increases in the bill.

Stay tuned.

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