$3.5 trillion to infrastructure bill

Infrastructure bill hoped to be passed prior to Climate Change Summit

UN Climate Change Conference

Infrastructure bills are going through congress and is feeling pressure to pass prior to the 2021 Global Climate Change Summit. Democratic leaders are working to pass two major bills in legislation: the 3.5 billion Build Back Better act and the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill over ten years. The proposed Infrastructure bill plans to improve various aspects of American living. According to NPR, “Party leaders say Oct. 31 is the new deadline to act on these bills.”

The Build Back Better plan was designed to lower prices for working class citizens. The act plans to cut taxes, create jobs and charge larger companies more money. The plan will lower the cost of housing, child care, prescription drugs and healthcare. To make taxes more affordable, the plan will lower the taxes for those who have children, and smaller cuts for workers without children as well. 

The bipartisan bill focuses on the infrastructure of the physical land of the country. The plan will repair roads and bridges. According to the White House, “the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will invest $110 billion of new funds for roads, bridges and major projects, and reauthorize the surface transportation program for the next five years.”

“The United States of America is the wealthiest country in the world, yet we rank 13th when it comes to the overall quality of our infrastructure,” according to the White House. The proposed bill hopes to fix many of the problems that surround the country.

This plan will also provide and replace water sources to deliver clean drinking water. According to PBS, “Tens of billions would also be utilized to fight extreme weather like drought, wildfire, flooding and erosion, with a host of smaller programs like low-emission buses, cleaner ports and even more trees.”

The 2021 Global Climate Summit is taking place at the end of this month on Oct. 31 through Nov. 12. At the Summit, the United Nations will work to find solutions to the ever-growing climate change problem. Biden previously introduced a plan to grant developing nations resources to fight climate change. 

Kui Hu is a researcher in the Environmental & Conservation Sciences Program at North Dakota State University. She studies the drought and deluge in the northern plains and is seeing the effects of climate change in the area. “Definitely human activities are accelerating it, like greenhouse gas emissions and all the pesticides,” Hu states. 

The infrastructure bill includes billions of dollars to better prepare the country for the effects of global warming. It could be the largest investment in climate resilience in American history, according to the New York Times.  

Many congress members are hesitant about the bill due to the high price tag. The plans combined would cost $4.5 billion. Democrats are trying to lower the price in order to get more votes for the bill. However, citizens are nervous about the effects of lower costs. Proposed cuts could result in no money for specific programs and issues. 

The Tribal leaders expect it to include about $11 billion for Indian Country, which they hope will begin to address historical inequities there, according to NPR. The current state of the bill would put $3.5 billion towards what has been underfunded in the Indian Health Service. 

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