Following a pair of votes on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act over the weekend, the bipartisan infrastructure measure is nearing the finish line in the Senate. The bill is currently on track for a final vote in the Senate on Tuesday morning.
Consideration of the bill was accomplished utilizing the House-passed Invest in America act. The Senate then approved a 2,702-page amendment in the form of a substitute on August 8, and voted to invoke cloture – thus limiting future debate – later that day.
The legislative plan is now for the 30-hour post-cloture clock to run on the $1 trillion legislation – which includes $65 billion in broadband funding support and around $2 billion for cybersecurity – until the morning of August 10, setting up a final vote.
Of the $65 billion in broadband funding included in the legislation, $42.45 billion is set to go towards a Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment program that will look to bridge the digital divide. The next biggest pot, $14 billion, goes towards a change in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program created by the American Rescue Plan.
The rest of the broadband money will go towards funding digital equity grants, middle-mile broadband infrastructure deployment, a tribal connectivity fund, and rural communities.
As far as the cybersecurity measures included, the bill has $1 billion set aside to fund a cybersecurity improvement grant program for state, local, tribal, and territorial governments. Beyond that, $550 million will go towards improving cybersecurity of the electric grid, which the Government Accountability Office earlier this year called “increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks.”
The bill also funds research by the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate, a cyber response and recovery fund from fiscal year 2022 through fiscal year 2028, and the office of the National Cyber Director.
There is still some disagreement on the cryptocurrency reporting language included in the bill, Politico reported. The discord is around who would be required to report cryptocurrency assets to the Internal Revenue Service. As written, the bill does not contain exclusions for cryptocurrency miners and others essential to verifying transactions.
Currently, the 30 hours of post-cloture debate is set to expire at 3 a.m. August 10, but there are discussions taking place to push the vote to later in the morning on Tuesday.