What May Be Ahead for Biden’s Infrastructure Plan?

Following the passage of his stimulus plan in the U.S. Senate last week, President Biden is next expected to unveil how he will improve America’s infrastructure, including transit, innovation and energy.

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Late this past week, the U.S. Senate approved a $1.9 trillion budget bill to fast-track Biden’s stimulus plan, which includes more COVID-19 relief. It now appears likely that this stimulus relief will be approved by March.

While the details of this American rescue plan are still not final, here’s what Biden’s plan calls for, according to CNBC:

  • Direct payments of $1,400 to most Americans, bringing the total relief to $2,000, including December’s $600 payments
  • Increasing the federal, per-week unemployment benefit to $400 and extending it through the end of September
  • Increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour
  • Extending the eviction and foreclosure moratoriums until the end of September
  • $350 billion in state and local government aid
  • $170 billion for K-12 schools and institutions of higher education
  • $50 billion toward COVID-19 testing
  • $20 billion toward a national vaccine program in partnership with states, localities and tribes
  • Making the Child Tax Credit fully refundable for the year and increasing the credit to $3,000 per child ($3,600 for a child under age 6)
Note that the $15 minimum wage provision was defeated in a Senate voice vote, and that provision is still undecided — and will possibly be removed.

It should also be noted that the new stimulus includes over $10 billion for cybersecurity and IT infrastructure improvements for federal agency systems, including CISA work. This interview in Threatpost describes why this is only a down payment on cybersecurity needs.

TheHill.com pointed out that $10 billion included for cybersecurity in the COVID-19 stimulus plan comes after the massive SolarWinds data breach and related issues: “$200 million is proposed to help with ‘rapid’ hiring of technology experts for the federal Chief Information Security Officer.”

Infrastructure Is Next

The stimulus plan is the first of two major spending initiatives President Biden is seeking in the first few months of his presidency.

The second bill, expected in February, will tackle the president’s longer-term goals of creating jobs, reforming infrastructure, combating climate change and advancing racial equity.

To get a glimpse of what might be included in this infrastructure plan, I surveyed multiple sources to capture early insights into what is likely to be proposed. 

President Biden’s campaign plan to “build a modern, sustainable infrastructure and an equitable clean energy future” can be found here. The plan contains initial details of another $2 trillion investment in:

  • Infrastructure
  • Transit
  • Power sector
  • Buildings
  • Housing
  • Innovation
  • Agriculture and conservation
  • Environmental justice


Recent Developments on Infrastructure Plan

According to Supply Chain Management Review:

“‘It’s time to stop talking about infrastructure and finally start building infrastructure,’ Biden said recently. ‘Millions of good-paying jobs putting Americans to work rebuilding our roads, our bridges, our ports to make them more climate resilient, to make them faster, cheaper, cleaner to transport American-made goods across our country and around the world, that’s how we compete,’ Biden added before warning: ‘Failure to do so will cost us dearly.’

“The chief salesperson for pushing that $1 to $2 trillion agenda through Congress will be Buttigieg. …

The U.S. Chamber has begun pushing a new campaign —‘Build By the Fourth of July (BB4J).’ As the name implies, it calls on Congress to pass comprehensive infrastructure legislation into law by July 4th, 2021.  The effort includes more than 220 organizations, including major voices from business, labor and environmental groups.”

Also, consider these articles with helpful details on the needs, hopes and likely possibilities:

Haven't We Seen This Infrastructure Movie Before?

No doubt, some readers are thinking that former President Trump also proposed massive infrastructure spending and it never happened. I wrote about those previous infrastructure plans in 2017 and again last April.  

This PDF chart from Asphaltpavement.org does a nice job of describing the differences between the Trump and Biden infrastructure plans.

The Trump administration previously tried to schedule an “infrastructure week” to roll out a major plan to fix bridges and roads. But other challenges that framed so many of Trump’s plans got in the way. His infrastructure plan was never approved by Congress. 

During the Biden and Obama years, infrastructure was also named as a top priority. But Republicans often blocked the sort of massive financial package that Biden is floating now, due to cost. 

Only time will tell if these infrastructure proposals ever become reality, but many experts put the likelihood of passage as very high in 2021.

Daniel J. Lohrmann is an internationally recognized cybersecurity leader, technologist, keynote speaker and author.