The U.S. House of Representatives approved a $1.5 trillion plan proposed by Democrats to rebuild the nation’s crumbling infrastructure last week, aiming to fix roads, transit systems, provide Internet access to rural areas and renovate ports.
The bill invests $300 billion into repairing bridges and roads, $130 billion into schools for children from low-income families, more than $100 billion for affordable housing and $100 billion for providing Internet access to rural areas, as well as $25 billion going into the modernization of the U.S. Postal Service’s infrastructure.
Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and a sponsor of the legislation, said the bill would be a “transformational investment in American infrastructure that will create millions of jobs.”
Republicans oppose the legislation because it closely follows Democrats’ climate change bill and sets the goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
“The Republicans have been a bit critical at points during the markup and saying this is the Green New Deal 2.0,” said DeFazio.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) called the bill “nonsense” saying it “is not going anywhere in the Senate.”
“This so-called infrastructure bill would siphon billions in funding from actual infrastructure to funnel into climate-change policies,” McConnell said.
The White House criticized the bill, saying it “is heavily biased against rural America” and “significantly favored” urban areas instead, with the measure being “entirely debt-financed.” The statement also added that the bill “is full of wasteful ‘Green New Deal’ initiatives.”
President Donald Trump promised to spend least $1 trillion to improve infrastructure during his presidential campaign, but he has never put forward legislation to implement these ideas.