I.In the USA, after months of negotiations, an agreement has been reached on a billion dollar infrastructure package. “We have a deal,” said US President Joe Biden on Wednesday after negotiations with senators from both parties. The joint proposal envisages spending of $ 1.2 trillion on roads and bridges, as well as broadband, e-car charging points and the power grid. The deal is a big step to compete with China, Biden said later. The democratic majority leader in the Senate, who was not involved in the negotiations, signaled general approval.
According to the President’s Office, $ 579 billion in new spending is planned as part of the total. The package should be financed, among other things, with oil sales from the strategic US reserves and auctions of 5G frequencies. Republican Senator Rob Portman said no new taxes were foreseen in the agreement. Biden specifically ruled out an increase in the gasoline tax, which has remained unchanged in the US at the federal level since the 1990s. More details should be released later in the day.
It was initially unclear whether the second Chamber of Congress, the House of Representatives, would approve the agreement. The Democratic President, Nancy Pelosi, recently said that a scaled-down version of the package would not find a sufficient majority. She was also not involved in the recent negotiations.
Biden had originally targeted $ 2.3 trillion for his infrastructure package. However, its Democrats only have a small majority in Congress. In comparison, both parties agree that the bridges and roads in the USA, some of which are ailing, must be modernized. Accordingly, the agreement on a package for “physical infrastructure” emerged recently. The Republicans oppose, however, that Biden also includes more socially oriented projects – “human infrastructure” – such as more help for children or the fight against global warming in the infrastructure program. Many Democrats, on the other hand, are emphatically calling for this.