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  • Washington Highlights

    House Democrats Release Infrastructure Package


    Tannaz Rasouli, Sr. Director, Public Policy & Strategic Outreach

    The Democratic leaders of seven House committees on June 22 released text and a section-by-section summary of the Moving Forward Act (H.R. 2), legislation intended to address infrastructure needs across multiple sectors.

    According to related materials released by the lawmakers, the package is a $1.5 trillion plan to rebuild American infrastructure, including roads, bridges, transit systems, schools, housing, broadband access, and more.

    The health section of the bill includes a provision to authorize $2 billion in each of fiscal years 2021 through 2025 to support construction grants through the Hill-Burton program for public or nonprofit medical facilities, with priority for projects enhancing emergency preparedness or guarding against cyber threats. The awards would be conditioned on the use of American iron and steel products and a commitment to enhancing energy efficiency.

    The bill would also authorize $4.5 billion a year for five years to states and localities to modernize clinical lab facilities to improve SARS-CoV-2 testing capacity, as well as $500 million, available until expended, for teaching health centers and behavioral health centers to make infrastructure improvements.

    Additional health provisions would authorize support for capital projects related to hospitals and outpatient health care facilities within the Indian Health Service and capital project funding for community health centers.

    Joining House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) at the release were Education and Labor Committee Chair Bobby Scott (D-Va.), Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal (D-Mass.), Oversight and Reform Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), and Natural Resources Committee Chair Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.).