President Biden and Congress have been working hard to finalize an infrastructure package, but reaching agreement remains difficult. As a part of his Build Back Better plan, the president first proposed a $7 trillion infrastructure plan including traditional infrastructure like roads and bridges and a number of provisions in support of human infrastructure such as childcare.
Lacking any Republican support for such a large package, Biden expressed support on June 24 for a $1.2 trillion traditional infrastructure package proposed by a bipartisan group of senators. Despite initial agreement more than a month ago, finalizing the package remains difficult. On July 21, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer could not get the 60 votes needed to move the package forward.
Despite the vote, negotiations continue, even with disagreement over important policy areas like broadband, water funding, highways, public transit, and financing the agreement. These areas include a number of provisions that would provide support for tribal infrastructure, including:
- Increased funding for tribal drinking water systems
- Increased funding for electrical grids in tribal communities, energy efficiency, and weatherization
- Reauthorizing the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act
- Support for expanding broadband on tribal lands
- Increased funding for tribal roads.
Patterson Earnhart Real Bird & Wilson LLP is working to advance a number of provisions in support of tribal infrastructure and also tracking efforts to pass an infrastructure bill. To learn more about this issue and how we can assist, contact attorney Rollie Wilson at our D.C. office at (202) 340-8232.