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Big spending on bridges and broadband

By the Numbers

Illustration by Krieg Barrie

Big spending on bridges and broadband
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Nineteen Republican senators partnered with Senate Democrats to send a $1.2 trillion legislative package to the House of Representatives in August. Electoral losses in Virginia helped persuade Democrats in the House finally to call for a vote on the deal Nov. 5. A baker’s dozen of Republican House members helped push the legislative package across the finish line over the objections of Republicans who said the deal spent too much and a handful of progressive Democrats who thought it didn’t spend enough. The final deal offers a grab bag of government projects, from traditional road and bridges spending to subsidies for laying fiber optic cables in rural America.


The amount the infrastructure bill will add to the ­deficit over a 10-year period, according to estimates
by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.


The definition of acceptable internet download speeds (in megabits per second or mbps), according to the bill, which pledges $65 billion for rural broadband projects.


The amount of money the bill earmarks for traditional road and bridge projects.


The package’s allocation for overhauls at American ports and waterways.


The bill’s allocation for new transportation grants that give the Biden administration more control over which projects to fund.


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