The Senate voted 67-32 to advance a standalone $1 trillion infrastructure bill, which would provide new federal money for roads, bridges, rail, transit, water, and other physical infrastructure programs.
Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) joined 16 of his Republican colleagues to vote in favor of a procedural move to allow the package to move forward.
The bill includes $550 billion in new spending. It still needs to be turned into formal legislative text and must clear additional votes in the Senate and House.
If enacted, the measure would be the largest infusion of federal money into the public works system in more than a decade.
The bill would provide $73 billion for electric power infrastructure upgrades, including new transmission lines to facilitate the expansion of renewable energy. It would create a Grid Deployment Authority, invest in research and development for advanced transmission and electricity distribution technologies, and promote smart grid technologies that deliver flexibility and resilience. It also would invest in demonstration projects and research hubs for advanced nuclear reactors, carbon capture, and clean hydrogen.
The compromise also includes $110 billion for roads, bridges and major projects; $66 billion for passenger and freight rail; $39 billion for public transit; $65 billion for broadband; $17 billion for ports and waterways; and $46 billion to help states and cities prepare for droughts, wildfires, flooding, and other consequences of climate change.
The bill also would provide $7.5 billion in funding for deployment of electric vehicle chargers along highway corridors to facilitate long-distance travel and within communities. Federal funding would have a particular focus on rural, disadvantaged, and hard-to-reach communities.
The White House and Democratic leaders accepted less new federal money for public transit and clean energy projects than they had wanted, including for some electric vehicle charging stations.
In a statement, Heather Zichal, CEO of the American Clean Power Association, welcomed the bipartisan effort and said “the clean power industry is committed and working to help get this important legislation to the President’s desk.”
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