Biden Manages To Save His Infrastructure Plan

The president of the United States, Joe Biden , and the Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives managed to settle during the weekend one of the two pillars on which the president’s economic agenda will be based. With 228 votes in favor and 206 against , Congress gave its approval to the bipartisan infrastructure plan already approved in the Senate late on Friday. A project with a total value of approximately 1.2 trillion dollars and that includes 550,000 million dollars in additional spending for massive investments in roads, bridges and waterways , among other provisions from which multiple Spanish companies will also benefit.

From Iberdrola, Siemens Gamesa and Acciona Energía to construction companies such as ACS and Ferrovia l, they would be very well positioned to have new projects derived from the approval of the Law on Investment in Infrastructure and Employment. The package includes 110,000 million dollars for roads, bridges and other large projects, in addition to 66,000 million for improvements in rail transport, both passengers and goods and 39,000 million for public transport, the largest investment in these tasks in history from the USA.

Broadband and renewables
In addition, $ 65 billion will go to strengthen broadband infrastructure and services, a priority for many legislators in the wake of the pandemic, which has exposed inequalities in Internet access for homes and students across the world. the country. The legislation will also invest $ 55 billion in water systems , including efforts to replace lead pipes. It will also inject $ 7.5 billion for electric vehicles and charging networks or $ 25 billion for improvements at US airports.

“This will almost double the current core spending in the US on infrastructure,” explains Michael Zezas, strategist at Morgan Stanley, who estimates that the measures will catalyze an infrastructure “super cycle” in which a positive revaluation of multiple sectors is projected, such as that of construction. From IHS Markit, Sarah Johnson, estimates that these investments will help US GDP grow by 4.3% next year and remain above the 2.5% threshold until 2025.

Six progressive Democrats, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Cori Bush, voted against these measures that we recall were approved by the Senate in August and will now come to the Oval Office to receive Biden’s signature. The go-ahead by a sufficient number of Democrats in the House of Representatives, supported by 13 Republican congressmen , provides a much needed legislative victory for the president, besieged by his plummeting approval ratings and electoral defeats last week. , especially in Virginia. Glenn Youngkin will become the first Republican to become governor of the state in a dozen years.

However, the tough task for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Leader Chuck Schumer is yet to come. Pelosi celebrated the approval of the infrastructure plan but still has to draw extremely fine lines among the members of her party to be able to save the second key pillar of Biden’s agenda: the investment of 1.85 billion dollars (if we include the immigration item) in social and environmental programs, known as Build Back Better . Initially, the president of Congress wanted to have voted both bills in unison. That said, at the end of last week it still did not have the necessary votes to approve the package of social measures.

Moderate Democrats don’t want to send the bill to the Senate until the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate of how much the ambitious package will actually cost is released. Measures to finance it include a minimum tax on the profits of multinationals or increasing marginal taxes on the highest incomes. Still, some lawmakers are wary of these estimates.

Even if it passes the approval of the House of Representatives, where no Republican will offer their support for the plump social spending agenda, Democrats will have to continue to smooth things over in the Senate . Without any backing from the opposition, Democrats cannot afford to lose the support of any member of their caucus. Senators Joe Manchin (West Virginia) and Kyrsten Sinema (Arizona) continue to pose as the main doubts of the Biden project.