In an address from the White House East Room this afternoon, President Biden announced an agreement with a bipartisan group of Senators to a framework for a $953 billion traditional infrastructure package, which includes $559 billion in new spending. This package would be passed in conjunction with a separate Democratic-led “human infrastructure” package through the budget reconciliation process and contain provisions that did not achieve bipartisan agreement.
While the legislative text has not been drafted, the framework of the bipartisan package includes elements of both the $2.25 trillion American Jobs Plan and the $1.8 trillion American Families Plan, which the White House has said are necessary for “once-in-generation investments in our nation’s future.” However, the bulk of the deal is focused on traditional or “hard” infrastructure items, including $312 billion for transportation and $266 billion for broadband, electricity, and water infrastructure.
The major provisions of the Jobs and Families plans that were not included in the bipartisan deal may be included in the separate reconciliation package. Among these may include elements of the proposed $400 billion “care infrastructure” to expand access to quality, affordable home- or community-based care for seniors and people with disabilities. We are continuing to meet with lawmakers on incorporating Argentum’s SENIOR Act to invest at least $100 billion over the next 10 years on long-term care infrastructure. Argentum is also advocating for certain elements of the American Families Plan, including greater investment in workforce development in the industry and tuition support/loan forgiveness for those working in long-term care.
The full bipartisan group includes 11 Republicans and 10 Democrats and is led by Senators Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Rob Portman (R-OH). The subset of that group that led negotiations on today’s announcement, known informally as the “G10,” include Senators Sinema and Portman, along with Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Mark Warner (D-VA). Argentum has been in regular contact with each of these offices as we continue to advocate for our priorities to be incorporated into the infrastructure packages.
As for timing, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) plan to advance the bipartisan package and a budget resolution containing the Democratic-led provisions in July. Upon passage of the budget resolution the House and Senate could then consider a reconciliation package that could be passed with a simple majority in both the House and Senate—and therefore only Democratic support (they can only lose four votes in the House and cannot lose any votes in the Senate). Final consideration of the “human infrastructure” package would be expected by September. The timeline could be complicated by a five-week recess, from July 31 through August 30, where lawmakers are not currently scheduled to be in session.
As these negotiations continue, we encourage you to stay engaged and reach out to your lawmakers to relay our priorities. In this effort, we encourage you to join us next Wednesday, June 30 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern for a briefing as part of the Argentum Advocates program, where Argentum’s federal lobbyists will detail more of this proposal and how Argentum members can get involved.
James R. Balda
President & CEO