President Joe Biden and Bipartisan Senate Group Reach Infrastructure Agreement
The president and a bipartisan group of 21 senators announced they have reached an agreement on a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package that includes nearly $580 billion in new federal funding as well as a continuation of existing federal infrastructure funding. Of the new funds, transportation infrastructure would receive more than $300 billion, along with $65 billion for broadband, $55 billion for water and $73 billion for energy infrastructure. The agreement includes a list of pay-fors, which includes funds previously earmarked for state and local governments, though not the relief funds provided as part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Multiple steps remain before the agreement becomes law, including demands from members of the House that the Senate also agree to pass a human infrastructure package through the budget reconciliation process. Stay tuned to NCSL for further updates. Read more.
House Expected to Pass $700 Billion Transportation and Water Infrastructure Legislation
The House is expected to approve a five-year, $550 billion surface transportation reauthorization—the “INVEST in America Act”—and more than $150 billion in funding for clean and safe drinking water infrastructure. The provisions include $105 billion for drinking water systems, which combines $45 billion to fully replace lead service lines and $53 billion over 10 years for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. They also include the Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act of 2021, which authorizes $50 billion in direct investment in the nation’s wastewater infrastructure and water quality challenges, including $40 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund over the next five years. For a deep dive on the INVEST Act and the clean water provisions, read NCSL’s Info Alert.
These bills will likely serve as the House’s starting point for potential negotiations with the Senate on specific provisions of an infrastructure package.
Senate Approves Major Agriculture Climate Legislation
The Growing Climate Solutions Act of 2021 would establish a certification program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help farmers increase their adoption of “climate smart practices,” and provide better access to voluntary carbon markets. The bill provides $4.1 million in unused ARPA funds for the USDA to start the program and authorizes up to $1 million annually through 2026. Read more.
House Passes Bipartisan State Energy Program Reauthorization
The bill, which passed 398-21, would provide $90 million annually, which includes new funds to support states’ development and strengthening of energy emergency plans and actions (or energy security plans). Read more.
Biden Administration Withdraws Proposed Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Rule
The Biden administration has withdrawn a 2019 proposed rule after reviewing and considering comments received. During the Trump administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture proposed a rule that would have eliminated broad-based categorical eligibility for SNAP. It also would have refined how receipt of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits could confer categorical eligibility for SNAP, and require state agencies to include in their SNAP plans all non-cash TANF benefits and certain cash TANF benefits that are granted for categorical eligibility. Read more.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Extends Moratorium on Evictions
On June 24, the Biden administration announced it will extend the CDC’s federal eviction moratorium through July 31. Extending the moratorium gives state and local governments more time to allocate funding from the emergency rental assistance funds to renters who might be at high risk of eviction. Read more.
Biden Administration Extends Foreclosure Moratoriums
Three of the federal agencies that back mortgages—the Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Veterans Affairs, and Agriculture—will extend their foreclosure moratoriums through July 31. Additionally, the Federal Housing Finance Agency will also announce an extension of its foreclosure moratorium for mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac until July 31. Read more.
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NCSL’s Advocacy in Washington
NCSL’s Washington staff advocates on behalf of state legislatures before Congress, the White House and federal agencies in accord with the policy directives and resolutions that are recommended by the NCSL Standing Committees and adopted by the full conference at the annual NCSL Legislative Summit Business Meeting. As a result of the advocacy that is guided by these policies’ positions, NCSL is recognized as a formidable lobbying force in state-federal relations.
NCSL Staff in Washington, D.C.
- Molly Ramsdell | 202-624-3584 | Director
- Erlinda Doherty | 202-624-8698 | Budgets and Revenue
- Susan Frederick | 202-624-3566 | Law, Criminal Justice, and Public Safety
- Abbie Gruwell 202-624-3569 | Commerce and Financial Services
- Ben Husch | 202-624-7779 | Natural Resources and Infrastructure
- Jon Jukuri | 202-624-8663 | Labor, Economic Development and International Trade
- Haley Nicholson | 202-624-8662 | Health
- Margaret Wile | 202-624-8171 | Human Service
- Austin Reid | 202-624-8678 | Education