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Legislative Updates

House Leadership Unveils Massive Infrastructure Bill, Includes Postal Provisions

Today, House Democrats unveiled the “Moving Forward Act” (H.R. 2), a $1.5 trillion, far-reaching bill authorizing funding and resources for the nation’s infrastructure. The bill, which was introduced by House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR), originated from the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation Act (“INVEST in America Act,” H.R. 7095), which authorized nearly $500 billion over five years for surface transportation needs such as highways, roads, and other transit.

Following Committee passage last week, the package morphed into the far-reaching H.R. 2, which is meant to be a statement of principles from House Democratic leadership outlining its overall infrastructure priorities.

Of particular note and in direct response to the urgent needs facing the Postal Service, the measure includes $25 billion for postal infrastructure modernization, including $6B to upgrade postal vehicles. The bill requires that 75 percent of the new fleet to be electric or zero emissions vehicles. For medium/heavy weight vehicles, the electric/zero emissions requirement would be 50 percent by 2030 and 100 percent by 2040. The bill would require “Buy America Act” provisions with regards to vehicle procurement. The bill also would equip each postal facility with electric charging stations, at least one of which would be made available to the public, officers and employees of the Postal Service.

Generally, the bill also includes $70 billion for clean-energy investments, $25 billion for safe-drinking water, $35 billion to upgrade health-care infrastructure, $100 billion in broadband investments, $130 billion for low-income schools, and $100 billion for affordable public housing. H.R. 2 also includes provisions related to aviation, trails, pedestrian projects, workforce development, innovation, emergency wildfire relief, air quality and pollution reduction. In addition, the bill seeks to address Covid-19-related infrastructure challenges such as front-line worker and passenger safety.

The legislation, which is expected to be considered on the House floor prior to the planned 4th of July House recess is a significant marker in the House but is not expected to be considered by the Senate, which has already begun work on its own infrastructure package. NALC will continue to monitor the progress of this bill and specifically the important provisions related to upgrading postal infrastructure.

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