Washington — US Senate Republicans on April 22 proposed a competing infrastructure plan to spend $568 billion over five years on traditional projects like roads, bridges and ports, skipping the clean energy focus of Democrats' plan.
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The Republican plan includes $299 billion for roads and bridges, $65 billion for broadband, $61 billion for public transit, $44 billion for airports, $35 billion for drinking water and wastewater, $20 billion for rail, and $17 billion for ports and inland waterways.
Republicans said their plan aims to boost economic growth, bolster the ability to respond to extreme weather events and natural disasters, and strengthen national security.
On a fact sheet, electric vehicles are the only mention of clean energy proposals, with Republicans saying their bill would "ensure that all users of certain types of infrastructure are contributing to the generation of revenue."
Senators unveiling the Republican plan said the projects were what Americans think of as infrastructure, not the climate-related proposals in the Democratic plan.
"This is a very large increase in Congress' traditional involvement in these areas," said Sen. Pat Toomey, Republican-Pennsylvania. "And while President Biden would like to do all kinds of things that have nothing to do with infrastructure, my view is we can have that discussion at some point in time. But what we ought to focus on is that which we seem to have agreement on, which is a significant investment in infrastructure."
At the same time, Sen. Shelley Capito, Republican-West Virginia, called it a "beginning document," and she expects EVs, electric grids, pipelines and climate considerations to be a part of negotiations.
President Joe Biden's American Jobs Plan proposes spending $2 trillion over 10 years on infrastructure, including $100 billion to modernize the country's aging electric grid in order to shift to 100% carbon-free power by 2035.
House Democrats have so far proposed spending $312 billion on infrastructure, including $69.9 billion for clean energy and energy efficiency and $41.8 billion for the deployment of EV infrastructure, clean ports and smart communities.