A gavel.

What Ever Happened to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill?

Rachel Lark - January 1, 2024

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It’s been years since President Biden signed the bipartisan infrastructure bill into law. Where have the funds gone, and what has it accomplished since then? 

What Is the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill?

The official name for the bipartisan infrastructure bill is “The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.” Initially, it stalled because Republicans and Democrats couldn’t agree on its necessity. After urging from constituents and some concessions from Democrats, it received a bipartisan vote in the Senate. 

President Biden signed the bipartisan infrastructure bill into law on November 15, 2021. Now, the government is distributing over $1.2 trillion nationwide. Everyone gets a fair cut, as the money is divided based on need. That being said, state policymakers can decline funds.

Either way, the bipartisan infrastructure law will be fantastic for the country. Considering the Trump administration repealed 112 environmental protection rules in four short years, this sustainability-focused effort is a massive win. Now, the United States can focus on improving its waterways, energy infrastructure, and climate change resilience. 

What Has the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Funded?

In the two years after President Biden signed the bipartisan infrastructure bill into law, the government used roughly $400 billion. Those funds went toward more than 40,000 projects, supporting thousands of communities nationwide. 

Here are the most notable investments according to a white house brief from November 2023: 

  • Electric infrastructure: $62 billion went toward development and resilience. Power grid updates got over $20 billion. Also, $7 billion went to building seven regional clean hydrogen hubs.
  • Connectivity: High-speed internet access projects — building infrastructure and supplementing bills — got $65 billion. Millions of Americans in rural and underserved areas will receive fiber network and broadband connections.
  • Water infrastructure: This investment in the nation’s water infrastructure is the largest in the nation’s history. Pipe upgrades alone received $50 billion. Another $17 billion went to port updates and waterway protection.
  • Transportation: The $300 billion for repair is the largest investment in this country’s history. While railways got $66 billion, airports got $25 billion. $7.5 billion went to building electric vehicle chargers. Another $7 billion was for domestic battery manufacturing. 
  • Climate change resilience: The bipartisan infrastructure law dedicated $50 billion to address climate and security threats. These measures included conservation, critical land protection, and resilience projects. For example, $16 billion went to stop pollution at abandoned oil and gas mines.

In some cases, President Biden only announced or supplied grants. In other words, the projects are only funded, not underway. This clarification is essential since dispersing and using the $1.2 trillion will take years. If you want to see a comprehensive, detailed funding breakdown, you can visit official government websites.

What Has the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Accomplished?

After the bipartisan infrastructure bill became law, the government wasted no time distributing funds. Even lawmakers who initially opposed it now publicly praise it for the good it has done. Here’s what it’s accomplished so far. 

  1. Energy Infrastructure

The nation’s energy infrastructure was a priority. In 2023, 70% of the electric grid was already pushing three decades old. The bipartisan infrastructure law updates it and brings it into the digital age with support for renewables. 

Updating outdated infrastructure to accommodate clean energy technology can be beneficial. Theoretically, using renewables to power 80% of the electrical grid would reduce electric vehicle emissions by 85% or more. In a few years, we could see massive environmental improvements.  

  1. Telecommunication Infrastructure

As most people know, internet bills are expensive — the bipartisan infrastructure law aims to fix that. Considering that 1 in 10 Americans live in poverty, subsidized internet plans help tremendously. Soon, the government will update telecommunications infrastructure to make high-speed connections affordable and reliable.

Once the bipartisan infrastructure bill was signed into law, the government moved quickly. Considering 21 million American households are already on the Affordable Connectivity program, the Biden administration urgently wants to expand telecommunication capabilities. Soon, millions more could pay as little as $30 a month for an online connection. 

  1. Water Infrastructure

The bipartisan infrastructure law has restored natural aquatic systems, replaced pipes, overhauled wastewater systems, and reworked clean water protections. Soon, hundreds of thousands of Americans will be better protected from floods and drinking water contamination.

Most water systems in the United States contain lead or other harmful pollutants. The federal government plans to use the bipartisan infrastructure law to replace 100% of these dangerous pipes. As a result, the average citizen will be much healthier.

  1. Transportation Infrastructure

The bipartisan infrastructure law fixed ports, airports, roadways, railways, and bridges across the nation. Additionally, it addressed the rising demand for electric vehicles. Considering fossil fuels power 95% of the transportation sector, this action has been crucial. States have received funds to build charging stations, long-term truck parking, and battery manufacturing facilities. 

Already, many states have projects underway. For example, Tallahassee, Florida, received over $15 million to build a public transportation center with chargers. Hundreds of thousands of Americans will soon gain access to state-of-the-art electric school buses and service vehicles.

Already, thousands of state vehicles are electric, charging station availability has increased by 70%, and railways received the most significant investment since the invention of Amtrak. These acts prove the United States is on track for a future of clean energy and extensive public transportation.

  1. Hazard Infrastructure

The bipartisan infrastructure law has overhauled security, addressed environmental hazards, and prioritized climate change defense infrastructure. For instance, states received millions to clean up hazardous debris in wildfire-prone areas. Additionally, over $16 billion went to prevent abandoned oil sources from continually polluting local ecosystems. 

This Law Will Catapult America Into an Age of Sustainability

Even though projects didn’t begin until a year or two after the bipartisan infrastructure bill became law, we’ve already seen promising results. In all likelihood, Americans will experience its positive impact for generations. 

No matter where you live, this law affects you. If you want to see how it will directly impact your life, the federal government has websites dedicated to state-by-state breakdowns. We encourage you to visit them so you can put the funding into perspective and know what improvements you should expect.

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About the author

Rachel Lark

Rachel serves as the Assistant Editor of Environment.co. A true foodie and activist at heart, she loves covering topics ranging from veganism to off grid living.