The Bipartisan Infrastructure bill that Congress passed is nothing short of historic. No, it is not the monster $3.5 trillion package that the Democrats were hoping for, but $1 trillion is far from anything to sneeze at.
As has been written in this column, America has often fallen woefully behind China and other nations in terms of infrastructure. The United States was so concerned with nation-building other nations that we forgot and neglected our own.
For days it seemed like all hope of the package being passed was lost, once again – or so it seemed – with the big tent of the Democratic Party which was often touted as a strength standing in its own way seeking perfection when ‘good’ was all that was required.
President Biden has faults, he is human after all. His approval rating is falling, gas prices are soaring and the supply chain appears broken and seemingly cannot be fixed for months, engulfing the holiday shopping season in doubt. Nevertheless, Mitch McConell, of all people, called the package a “godsend” for the people of Kentucky.
Despite the once-in-a-generation investment in America’s infrastructure, one has to stop and wonder, why on Earth is America passing large infrastructure packages once a generation? Washington has gotten so toxic, so uncompromising that even a bipartisan bill that both parties desperately wanted to get done, not only took ages, but came so close to collapsing on a near-daily basis.
The only way to combat a rising tide of anarchists, conspiracy theorists, openly democracy-hating Americans rising into the political ranks is to accomplish major wins like the bipartisan infrastructure package to prove to everyday Americans that the government can still serve them and that expertise in those that we elect matters. Now that America is no longer fighting in Afghanistan, albeit due to a botched withdrawal, those funds must be reinvested into the bridges, tunnels, climate change projects, flood defenses, trains, airports and ports around America. If climate change projects stand out from that list, they should. Earth is in crisis and only with better infrastructure as well as public transportation can we remove cars from the roads and start to reverse the damage we have caused to the planet. Reforestation projects can be a boon for endangered wildlife but can also help to prevent previously unprecedented drought which in turn allows the U.S. water reserves to be secure.
There is much work to do, but at last, it has begun.