Rebuilding America's Infrastructure

June 4, 2021 • Volume 31, Issue 20
Can Biden and Republicans agree on how to fund it?
By Daniel C. Vock


President Biden is pushing Congress to pass a $2.3 trillion infrastructure bill that aims to revive and modernize the U.S. economy after the COVID-19 pandemic and help the country reckon with racial inequities and climate change. He wants to pay for his expansive proposal by raising taxes on corporations and clamping down on companies that stash assets abroad to minimize or avoid U.S. taxes. Republicans oppose the tax increases, the size of Biden's spending plan and the fact that much of it addresses problems outside of the traditional parameters of infrastructure: roads, bridges, mass transit and water and sewer systems. Several Republican lawmakers have proposed a smaller package emphasizing conventional infrastructure spending. Regardless of how the current debate evolves, the country will continue to face infrastructure challenges due to the growing use of electric vehicles, increasingly severe weather caused by climate change, shaky funding mechanisms and deteriorating physical assets.

Photo of traffic detour from construction near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Annapolis, Maryland, on May 21, 2021. (AFP/Getty Images/Jim Watson)
Traffic is detoured around a construction area near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Annapolis, Md., on May 21. President Biden is seeking a $2.3 trillion package to upgrade the nation's infrastructure, but congressional Republicans oppose its cost and scope. (AFP/Getty Images/Jim Watson)
ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Urban Planning
Jun. 03, 2022  The Future of the City
Jun. 04, 2021  Rebuilding America's Infrastructure
Aug. 21, 2020  Economic Clustering
Nov. 01, 2019  Caregiving Crunch
Jul. 27, 2012  Smart Cities
Apr. 09, 2010  Earthquake Threat
Apr. 2009  Rapid Urbanization
Jun. 23, 2006  Downtown Renaissance Updated
May 28, 2004  Smart Growth
Oct. 03, 1997  Urban Sprawl in the West
Mar. 21, 1997  Civic Renewal
Oct. 13, 1995  Revitalizing the Cities
Jun. 09, 1989  Not in My Back Yard!
Apr. 28, 1989  Do Enterprise Zones Work?
Nov. 22, 1985  Supercities: Problems of Urban Growth
Jul. 23, 1982  Reagan and the Cities
Nov. 18, 1977  Saving America's Cities
Oct. 31, 1975  Neighborhood Control
Nov. 21, 1973  Future of the City
Feb. 07, 1973  Restrictions on Urban Growth
May 20, 1970  Urbanization of the Earth
Nov. 06, 1968  New Towns
Oct. 04, 1967  Private Enterprise in City Rebuilding
Feb. 10, 1965  Megalopolis: Promise and Problems
Mar. 04, 1964  City Beautiful
Aug. 21, 1963  Urban Renewal Under Fire
Jan. 21, 1959  Metropolitan Areas and the Federal Government
Jul. 30, 1958  Persistence of Slums
Dec. 09, 1953  Outspreading Cities
Nov. 22, 1952  Slum Clearance: 1932–1952
Jan. 14, 1937  Zoning of Urban and Rural Areas
Budget and the Economy
Climate Change
Congress Actions
Consumer Protection and Product Liability
Deficit, Federal Debt, and Balanced Budget
Economic Analyses, Forecasts, and Statistics
Economic Development
Electric Power
General Employment and Labor
Lobbying and Special Interests
Manufacturing and Industrial Production
Motor Traffic and Roads
Party Politics
Party Politics
Powers and History of the Presidency
Public Transportation
Regional Planning and Urbanization
Regional Planning and Urbanization
Renewable Energy Resources and Alternative Fuels