Legal development

Biden s Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal

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    Key takeaways

    • A group of Senate Democrats and Republicans reached agreement with President Biden on an infrastructure package.
    • The proposal includes $578 billion of new infrastructure spending which, together with the baseline spending, will amount to $1.2 trillion over 8 years.
    • Final legislation is not expected to pass until the fall.

    What does the compromise mean for Biden's Infrastructure Bill?

    On June 24, a bipartisan team of senators and President Biden agreed on an infrastructure spending package (the "Compromise Plan") to present to the Senate. The deal marks the latest iteration of the infrastructure plan that Biden first presented in April, described in detail on the Ashurst website here. It covers physical infrastructure but not the "human infrastructure" (social welfare) spending that Biden included in his original proposal. Although the Compromise Plan is a long way from becoming law, it shows that there is significant appetite among Republicans to pass major infrastructure spending under President Biden.

    The Compromise Plan is more a statement of bipartisan collaboration than a concrete policy agenda. Its authors have yet to decide on many significant points, including funding sources. It will likely be overhauled as its winds its way through the Senate and House, as legislators of both parties who did not work on the Compromise Plan demand further compromise. Biden himself has said that he will not sign it unless it is passed alongside a human infrastructure bill. However, none of these obstacles are expected to prevent the eventual passage of a bill, because both parties are invested in passing infrastructure spending.

    How does this impact private-sector opportunities?

    Despite the upcoming challenges, the Compromise Plan is a win for the private sector. Initially, it seemed that Biden's infrastructure plan would proceed with zero Republican involvement using the reconciliation process. Democrats had planned to fund the bill with a mix of loans and a raise in the corporate tax rate. Now that Republicans are cooperating, it is expected that they will want to minimize any raise in taxes and include alternative financing.

    The Compromise Plan mentions several potential private sector sources, including public-private partnerships, private activity bonds, direct pay bonds, 5G spectrum auction proceeds, and asset recycling. Like everything else in the proposal, it is subject to change, but it is likely that Republicans will demand private sector funding in the final bill. Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican senator who led the compromise talks, has said that she has a strong preference for private sector investment over measures like a raised gas tax.

    What is included?

    The following is intended to be a non-exhaustive list of some of the key proposals contained in the Compromise Plan:



    • Fix the most economically significant large bridges in need of reconstruction, along with the repair of 10,000 smaller bridges; and
    • modernize 20,000 miles of highways and roads.


    Roads, bridges, and major projects - $109bn

    Improve road safety - $11bn



    Modernization of existing public transit and investment to meet rider demand, and funding in order to:

    • address Amtrak's repair backlog;
    • modernize the Northeast Corridor; and
    • improve existing corridors and connecting new city pairs.


    Passenger/freight railways - $66bn

    Public transit - $49bn



    Airport proposal includes funding for:

    • the Airport Improvement Program (AIP);
    • upgrades to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) assets; and
    • a new program to support terminal renovations and multimodal connections for convenient, car-free access to air travel.


    Airports - $25bn

    Waterways and ports - $16bn



    Tax incentives for both automakers and consumers

    Grant and incentive programs for state and local governments and the private sector to build a national network of 500,000 EV chargers.

    Electrification of school and transit buses.


    Electric buses / transit - $7.5bn

    EV Infrastructure - $7.5bn



    Affordable, "future proof", high-speed broadband infrastructure with 100 percent coverage, including in unserved and underserved areas.


    Broadband Infrastructure- $65bn



    Build a more resilient electric transmission system.

    Spur jobs modernizing power generation and delivering clean electricity, moving toward 100 percent carbon pollution-free power by 2035.

    Replace all lead pipes.


    Power infrastructure including grid authority - $73bn

    Water infrastructure - $55bn

    Other infrastructure financing - $20bn

    Western water storage - $5bn

    Reconnecting communities - $1bn



    Increase resilience in essential services, including the electric grid, food systems, urban infrastructure, community health and hospitals, and roads, rail and other transportation assets.

    Remediate and redevelop critical physical, social and civic infrastructure.


    Resilience - $47bn

    Environmental Remediation - $21bn

    Betty Cerini, Partner and Co-Head of Projects, Americas – Admitted only in New York
    Anna Hermelin, Office Managing Partner (Los Angeles) and Co-Head of Projects, Americas – Admitted only in California and England & Wales
    Andrew Smith, Partner – Admitted only in New York and England & Wales
    Michael Lyndon-James, Senior Associate – Admitted only in New York and Western Australia

    The information provided is not intended to be a comprehensive review of all developments in the law and practice, or to cover all aspects of those referred to.
    Readers should take legal advice before applying it to specific issues or transactions.


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