Legislative Progress Before August Recess

August 17, 2021

Several key steps were completed the week of August 9th in the overall infrastructure saga. First, the Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act (the bipartisan legislation) was officially passed by the U.S. Senate by a count of 69-30. Before the final vote there was a rapid review of several amendments, with the inclusion of a few that are not likely to impact lighting, but we’re waiting for more final details to become available. The next step for this legislation is consideration by the U.S. House of Representatives. The timing of this review is at the discretion of the Speaker of the House, who has indicated that it will be delayed until the parallel budgeting reconciliation bill is considered as well. There is also a competing bill that was previously passed in the House of Representatives, so the members will need to decide if they will take up a vote on the specific Senate bill or attempt additional negotiation.

The second major event that occurred was a passage in the Senate of the budgeting framework for reconciliation. As per the rules of this process, that action required a unanimous vote of the Senate Democrats. The framework did not have project details, rather it was comprised of spending targets for each of the primary Senate committees, along with some general instructions. The work now rests in each of the committees to draft legislation for the programs that they decide are important enough to spend the targeted amount on (as well as the funding sources). This process will play out over the next few weeks and it will be back in the public eye once Congress returns from their break and races to complete these and other critical passages before the fiscal year ends in late September.

Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act