After substantial negotiations with the Biden Administration, a bipartisan group of Senators has produced a nearly $1 trillion infrastructure bill titled the “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.” The Senate is set to vote on the bill and amendments later this week but it is unclear when the House may consider the measure. The House is currently expected to be in recess until September 20, 2021, but may reconvene to address this legislation. The bill includes a five-year surface transportation reauthorization and would make investments in transportation, drinking water and wastewater, broadband, climate resiliency, environmental remediation, and electrical transmission. It includes tribal provisions. We attach President Biden’s statement on the bill as well as the White House fact sheet.
Some tribal-specific provisions include:
- A five year reauthorization of the Tribal Transportation Program with stepped increases in funding from the Highway Trust Fund starting at $578.4 million per fiscal year in FY 2022 and reaching $627.9 million per fiscal year in FY 2026;
- A five year reauthorization of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Indian Reservation Drinking Water Program at $50 million per fiscal year;
- A five year reauthorization of grants to Alaska to improve sanitation in rural and Native villages with stepped increases in funding from $40 million per fiscal year in FY 2022 to $60 million per fiscal year in FY 2026;
- An additional $2 billion, to remain available until expended, for grants for the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program;
- The establishment of a $2.5 billion “Indian Water Rights Settlement Completion Fund” to remain available until expended and to be used by the Secretary of the Interior for approved Indian water settlements;
- $216 million for “tribal climate resilience, adaptation, and community relocation planning, design, and implementation of projects which address the varying climate challenges facing tribal communities across the country”; and
- $3.5 billion appropriated for Indian Health Facilities to remain available until expended for the provision of domestic and community sanitation facilities for Indians.
Please let us know if we may provide additional information about the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.