Congress Grapples Over Infrastructure Bill

     Biden’s new infrastructure bill has become a hot topic in Congress. The bill, if passed, will provide the financials for major upgrades in the United States’s infrastructure, but it will also cost a significant amount of money.

     A bill like this could be the deciding factor in our country’s future, which is fast approaching.

     When asked why this bill is important to the Friar family, history teacher Mr. Quinn explained, “It could improve broadband and internet, which as you know is a huge deal to Fenwick now that we’re mostly online, as well as give us better access to airports and transportation which many Friars take to get to school.” U.S. Government teacher Ms. Logas responded “Some years ago, East Avenue was a mess; full of potholes, being gradually reduced to gravel in some of the heavily-traveled areas in front of Fenwick and Ascension. Federal stimulus money allowed Oak Park to do this ‘shovel-ready’ resurfacing project… Since so many students and faculty use the local highways and public transportation to get to school, I don’t see how this would not affect the Fenwick community.”

     There are many pros to this bill for all socioeconomic classes. Mr. Quinn commented, “Hamilton said if a bill is truly great, all should benefit.” It may seem like everyone does, but there is one issue: the bill’s funding. The price tag is still being decided by Congress; however, it is rumored to be around three trillion dollars. This presents a major roadblock in bipartisanship for the bill. Democrats claim this is overdue and want to get the money from leftover COVID-19 relief and from the taxation of trillion-dollar corporations. Democratic senator Bernie Sanders said, “for many years our government bends over backward for the rich and large corporations and the consequences for that is a wealth inequality to the likes of which have never been seen. It’s about time that the government of the working class helps the people they represent.” Republicans refute this, saying that America is in enough debt as it is, and we do not have enough money to finance three trillion dollars for the infrastructure bill.

     However, all agree that our country is in desperate need of better infrastructure, especially compared to other countries such as Qatar, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates that are growing to be the next tech cities of the world. In U.S. History, Ms. Logas brought up the topic of the infrastructure bill and how it affects us as Americans. She showed the skylines of cities such as Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. Then, she showed us the skylines of the countries of Australia, Qatar and the city of Shanghai, and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, the difference between cities like Chicago and Shanghai is that Chicago is the city of the present; however, cities such as Shanghai are the cities of tomorrow.” This statement confronts the reality of just how behind we are when it comes to developing infrastructure.

     In their campaigns for the presidency, Obama, Trump and Biden stated they would work towards better infrastructure. This bill may finally offer a chance to improve a system some consider outdated. It is only a matter of time until Congress either meets a bipartisan agreement or tosses out the bill and its potential for a major impact.