2,700-page infrastructure bill has $66 billion for Amtrak, language to boost women in trucking

Legislative language buried in the 2,700-page infrastructure bill contains language with much more than just money for roads and bridges — with sections intended to encourage women in trucking, eradicate harmful invasive species and tweak Amtrak’s mission.

Part of the $1.2 trillion bill states that women make up 47 percent of the workforce, but only 6.6 percent of truck drivers.

It also states that female truck drivers are 20 percent less likely to have an accident than male counterparts. It explains the meaning of Congress

Female truck drivers are less likely to be involved in an accident, according to an infrastructure law provision, which also includes provisions on invasive species and Amtrak funding

“that the trucking industry should explore every opportunity to encourage and support women’s pursuit and retention of trucking careers, including through programs that support recruitment, driver training and mentorship.”

Another transportation facility also requires research into the safety of limousines. It specifically seeks to research “the development of motor vehicle safety standards for side impact protection, roof crush resistance and airbag systems for occupant protection in limousines with alternative seating positions, including all-round seating.”

Part is aimed at combating invasive species that can stifle native plants or sometimes harm the environment. A provision aims to use ‘native plants and wildflowers, including those that are pollinator-friendly’ in transportation projects involving native plants – an apparent effort to curb the decline of bees. It’s one of several pieces of environmental language included in a project that Republicans demanded focus on roads and bridges.

The bill includes $66 billion for Biden's beloved Amtrak, which he shuttled between Washington and Wilmington for decades.

The bill includes $66 billion for Biden’s beloved Amtrak, which he shuttled between Washington and Wilmington for decades.

Critics of the deal flagged a stipulation on female truck drivers

Critics of the deal flagged a stipulation on female truck drivers

A provision aims to make use of 'native plants and wildflowers, including those that are pollinator-friendly', amid studies of pollinator species loss

A provision aims to make use of ‘native plants and wildflowers, including those that are pollinator-friendly’, amid studies of pollinator species loss

sen.  Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) found a section on

sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) found a section on “gender identity” outside the bill’s purpose, although it is common practice to include definitions in the language of the bill. A commission law prohibits people from different categories from being barred from participating in bills

Another provision targeted vehicles equipped with breathalisers

Another provision targeted vehicles equipped with breathalisers

Critics weighed in on the bill for provisions that could benefit a bipartisan group of negotiators.

One provision for the Department of the Interior would keep $50 million available for the long-running Central Utah Project, a Utah water project home to negotiator Sen. Mitt Romney.

The bill also says the Secretary of Transportation can “provide necessary reconstruction” of the Alaska Highway, which runs from the border at Beaver Creek in the Yukon to Canada’s Haines Junction.

The road section begins, “Recognizing the Benefits to the State of Alaska and the United States from Reconstructing the Alaska Highway,” then describes the project. sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska was a key GOP negotiator.

The snippets of legislative language come into a broader bill of billions for rail and road projects, including $66 billion for Biden’s beloved Amtrak, which he shuttled between Washington and Wilmington for decades.

A line changes Amtrak’s mission of achieving performance “enough to justify spending government money” – putting public rail service on the defensive – to meeting the needs of the US’s intercity passenger rail.

The massive 2,702 page bill aims to tackle “real” infrastructure, such as improvements to U.S. roads, bridges and clean drinking water, with other “human infrastructure” in a separate measure.

It also states that ‘advanced drink-driving prevention technology should be standard in all new passenger cars’, and that vehicles should be able to ‘prevent or restrict’ operation if a driver has a disability.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was finally unveiled Sunday night after weeks of negotiations between a group of bipartisan lawmakers. Architects of the Senate bill are Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, a Democrat, and Rob Portman of Ohio, a Republican.

The Senate started the debate and the amendment process of the legislation on Monday afternoon.

One of the biggest hurdles could be how the Senate plans to fund a huge chunk of the bill. While $650 billion has already been paid through planned investments in U.S. roads, highways and bridges, the remaining $550 in spending will require new spending over the next five years.

Democrats, led by President Joe Biden, wanted to use new tax revenue, such as a new gas tax, to pay for the huge chunk of legislation. That idea was rejected by Republicans.

The GOP senators proposed raising money through fees paid by those using the infrastructure, which the Democrats rejected.

The two-pronged compromise put an end to both, but the result is sure to spark intense debate.

Current language of the bill reusing about $205 billion in untapped COVID-19 relief, as well as unemployment aid that has been reversed by some states. It also depends on expected future economic growth.

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