Shant Boyajian Quoted on $1.2T Bill to Rebuild the Nation's Infrastructure
Shant Boyajian was quoted in the Law360 article, "$1.2T Senate Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Braces For Hurdles" (subscription required). The article examines the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act's once-in-a-generation investment proposal, including $550 billion in new spending. After years of promises, transportation providers and project developers are hopeful this bill represents real progress.
"The fact that a bipartisan group with a significant number of Republican senators got to the point where they agreed on legislative text on such a massive infrastructure bill — that in and of itself is hugely momentous," Shant stated. He added that while "there are still plenty of steps in the process before this gets to the president's desk, and there are policies and political minefields that are still yet to be navigated...[this] is a huge milestone, and many people were a little skeptical that we'd actually get to this point."
A big unknown is whether the House will insist on the Senate also passing a separate $3.5 trillion budget bill through a special filibuster-proof process called reconciliation, allowing it to clear the Senate with a simple majority. The budget package would address President Biden's other key priorities, such as child care, education, health care and climate change.
"The first [issue] is how closely the more progressive members of Democratic caucus in both chambers feel that this needs to be tied to reconciliation efforts," Shant said. "If congressional Democrats in either or both chambers ultimately insist that it only go to the president if a reconciliation bill also goes to the president, that has the possibility of really jeopardizing Republican votes in the Senate."
Acknowledging past attempts, Shant reflected, "The longer this goes, the more opportunity there is for the conversation to break down on political or policy grounds."