Senate GOP releases framework for $568 billion infrastructure investment

April 23, 2021
The framework, which calls for $61 billion for transit, lays out infrastructure investments over five years through renewed federal programs.

Senate Republicans responded to the Biden Administration’s American Jobs Proposal on April 22 with their own five-year, $568-billion infrastructure investment framework.

The framework provides a more traditional approach to infrastructure investment - roads and bridges public transit; rail; safety; drinking water and wastewater infrastructure; inland waterways and ports; airports; broadband infrastructure and water storage - but represents the largest infrastructure investment ever proposed by Republicans.

The framework was unveiled by U.S. Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee; Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Ranking Member of the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee; Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Ranking Member of the Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs Committee; Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Ranking Member of the Finance Committee; and John Barrasso, Ranking Member of the Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee. The senators explained the framework would “serve as a guide as Congress continues to develop bipartisan bills that move by regular order.”

A breakdown of the key investments by sector:

  • Roads and Bridges – $299 billion
  • Public Transit Systems – $61 billion
  • Rail – $20 billion
  • Safety – $13 billion
  • Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure – $35 billion
  • Inland Waterways and Ports – $17 billion
  • Airports – $44 billion
  • Broadband Infrastructure (additional funding) – $65 billion
  • Water Storage – $14 billion

The fact sheet provided by Republicans only offered total proposed funds for various departments and agencies within government and did not provide additional details about how those totals could be broken out further. For example, the $61 billion for public transit only indicates the funding would go to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), not how much to certain programs the FTA oversees.

“Republicans and Democrats agree that our infrastructure is in need of repair and expansion. We have an opportunity to develop bipartisan legislation that makes these long-term investments, while at the same time driving job creation and economic growth. But it’s important that any infrastructure legislation have adequate funding levels and not be so large as to fail to launch, which means sticking to actual infrastructure. That’s why our framework works,” said Sen. Capito. “It serves as a realistic, thoughtful approach that addresses the core areas of infrastructure that we all agree upon. Infrastructure is the perfect opportunity to show the American people we can work together.”

The framework rejects calls to raise corporate tax rates and proposes an extension on the cap on the state and local tax deduction and would repurpose unused federal spending, institute user fees and “shore up any infrastructure-related trust fund” facing a shortfall.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.