ALEXANDRIA, Va.—After a long summer of debate and negotiations in the Senate, as well as political wrangling in the House Democrat Caucus this fall, the House of Representatives finally passed H.R.3684, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, by a bipartisan vote of 228-206. Thirteen Republicans voted for the bill, and six Democrats voted against the bill.
The $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill includes $550 billion in new spending for roads, bridges, water infrastructure, freight rail, transit systems, the electric grid and broadband. NACS supports this bill and urged House members of Congress to support the bill in a letter sent by NACS, NATSO and SIGMA earlier this fall.
In addition, an alternative fuels corridor grant program was included in the bill, along with language and programs to facilitate better coordination with key stakeholders and the states. NACS, with NATSO and SIGMA, had worked with senators to ensure that convenience and fuel retailers would be part of that coordination effort and be eligible for the grant program and that the program would be structured to encourage private sector investment and a competitive market for EV charging. In addition, the groups worked to keep in place the ban on rest area commercialization and prevent an exception for EV chargers at rest areas.
“Public policy must ensure the private sector can invest in climate solutions in order to make progress,” said NACS President and CEO Henry O. Armour in a joint industry press release. “The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act does that and will help our industry reduce greenhouse gas emission in transportation and offer consumers alternative cleaner fueling choices. We appreciate the work of the Administration and Congress to get that accomplished.”
In September, the progressive wing of the Democrat party had held up the vote on the Senate bipartisan infrastructure bill, tying a vote on this bill to a vote on the Build Back Better reconciliation package despite a commitment by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to hold a vote by September 30. Two highway funding extensions passed before finally clearing the Infrastructure Investment and Job Act. However, late Friday evening, progressives and moderates in the House Democrat Caucus came to an agreement to move forward on a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill with a commitment to vote on the tax and spending reconciliation package no later than the week of November 15.