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House Democrats Release $760 Billion Green Infrastructure Plan

Nancy Pelosi holds a news conference to unveil a $760 billion infrastructure spending bill proposed by House Democrats in Washington, January 29, 2020. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

House Democrats on Wednesday released a $760 billion plan to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure while helping address climate change.

The “Moving Forward Framework” would invest $329 billion in transportation systems, $105 billion for transit agencies and maintenance, $55 billion in railways including Amtrak, $21.4 billion to ensure clean drinking water, and $86 billion to enhance broadband access, and provide additional funding to address climate change across these areas.

The plan, which would be implemented over five years, will inform the House committees that will propose legislation to rebuild U.S. infrastructure.

“This is just one part of what we will be doing when we have our legislative week for infrastructure,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. “We will also have a special focus on housing, especially focused on education, school construction, all of it very important.”

Democrats did not detail how they would pay for the plan, but Pelosi called it a “major expense” and said “we have to find the funding for it.”

The plan was proposed by the chairmen of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Energy and Commerce Committee, and House Ways and Means Committee.

“This is not just about fixing our roads and bridges,” read a joint statement from the chairmen. “It is about seizing the opportunity to make transformational changes in communities of all sizes, in every corner of our country.”

The climate change portion of the proposal includes measures such as transitioning federal buildings to carbon-neutral and encouraging planes to use renewable fuels.

President Trump has not yet delivered on his promise to invest $1 trillion in infrastructure. Talks between Democrats and the White House on the matter were derailed in October when Pelosi and Democrats stormed out of a meeting, accusing him of having a “meltdown.”

“They shouldn’t have any objection to new, more climate friendly materials that are actually going to save the taxpayers money,” chairman of the House Transportation Committee DeFazio said Tuesday about whether Republicans would get behind the plan. “I think there’s a lot of things we could agree on.”

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