The infrastructure bill: UM experts can discuss


After months of haggling and haggling, Congress passed – and President Joe Biden is about to sign – a more than $ 1,000 billion infrastructure bill. The law will inaugurate the much-needed investments in roads, railways, bridges, broadband, the electricity network and clean and safe water.

The plan is much more modest than originally intended, as is often the case with bipartisan legislation, but still historic in terms of its goals and scope.

Experts from the University of Michigan are available to discuss.

Nirupama Rao is Assistant Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy at the Ross School of Business at UM. She studies the economic effects of tax policy, focusing on its impact on the production, investment and pricing decisions of companies. Rao can talk about the plan in general and what it will mean for the economy.

“The recently passed infrastructure bill increases the country’s productive capacity, makes it cheaper to transport goods from manufacturers and ports to buyers, and finally begins to prepare our transportation and power systems for a healthy world. warming, ”she said. “Renewable energy is no longer a goal of the future, it is the reality of our highways, our homes and our main streets. Congress is finally allowing our systems to catch up with our consumers. These investments in physical capital will stimulate growth; Pairing them with investments in workers and their children will unlock the full potential of the economy.

Contact: [email protected]


Barry rabe is professor of public and environmental policy at the Ford School of Public Policy at UM. It examines the political feasibility and sustainability of environmental and energy policies, with a focus on efforts to address climate change in the United States and other countries.

“The adoption of a federal infrastructure law represents the achievement of a long-discussed legislative goal,” he said. “But this is only the start of a process to convert the new spending into real infrastructure, ranging from new highways and bridges to updated water pipes and electric vehicle charging networks. We should not assume that accepting larger budgets automatically guarantees full and timely implementation. “

Contact: [email protected]


Betsey Stevenson, professor of public policy and economics at the Ford School of Public Policy at UM, was a member of the Council of Economic Advisers from 2013 to 2015, where she advised President Barack Obama on social policy, the markets of the work and trade. She was also the Chief Economist of the United States Department of Labor from 2010 to 2011.

“The bipartisan infrastructure package passed by Congress will provide America with a historic investment in the critical infrastructure needed to support human development and business investment,” she said. “This will help restore America’s global competitiveness by improving the financing of investments that boost productivity, such as expanding high-speed Internet access, improving roads and transportation systems, and modernizing from the electrical network.

“It will also prepare us for the future with the necessary investments to fight climate change. The infrastructure bill will support the transition to cleaner energy technologies and provide U.S. consumers with access to cleaner transportation options through investments in hybrid buses and electric vehicle charging stations.

“This is government spending that we know pays off by directly facilitating greater economic growth and stimulating greater investment from the private sector. The current challenges in our supply chain indicate that these investments are long overdue. Our climate challenges show that these investments are essential to tackle the current climate crisis. “

Contact: [email protected]


Jennifer Read is director of the UM Water Center and lead author of a Michigan Statewide Water Affordability Assessment (coming December 2021) and director of a major project to raise awareness of the public on the Michigan Lead and Copper Rule Review.

“Michigan’s $ 1.3 billion for water infrastructure is a big step in the right direction,” she said. “Without this influx of federal funding, we would be years behind in replacing lead service lines or we would see a surge in consumer water bills to fund it.

“That said, the state has yet to determine how these funds will be allocated, and our work shows that there is huge variation among communities across the state in their technical, financial and managerial capacity to access and manage a such influx. If they are not addressed properly, we will again see the communities that need the resources left behind the most. The state should provide technical, financial and other support to strengthen and strengthen the capacity of the community to actually benefit from these resources.

Contact: 734-769-8898, [email protected]


Richard hall is Professor of Political Science at the College of Literature, Science and Art at UM and Professor of Public Policy at Ford School. His research focuses on American national politics. He has studied congressional participation and representation, campaign finance reform, legislative oversight, and congressional lobbying.

“Passing the infrastructure bill has given President Biden a significant victory,” he said. “During the 2016 campaign, Trump repeatedly promised to pass such a bill, but even though Republicans held strong majorities for two years, Trump was unable to do so.
“Biden did it with very slim majorities in both chambers and got some bipartisanship to boot.

“But on its own, I don’t think the infrastructure bill will change the narrative that Biden’s platform is crumbling and he can’t unify his own party. In its current form, the Build Back Better bill will be a much harder sell to Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. The major concessions they will demand can only alienate progressive Democrats in the House, reopening the divisions Pelosi managed to cover up last week. And Democrats will be working on a much shorter clock. “

Contact: 734-763-4390, [email protected]


Nancy Love, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UM College of Engineering, is a Chartered Professional Engineer with expertise in water quality engineering and design as it relates to wastewater and water systems drinkable.

“The funds provided by the Infrastructure Bill will have a direct and rapid impact on the critical needs of Michigan’s water infrastructure,” she said. “I hope that the State will make the most of this opportunity to address historical disparities in investment in water infrastructure while offering innovative and more sustainable water solutions. “

Contact: [email protected]


James sayer is director of the UM Transportation Research Institute.

“We must not continue to neglect the many communities that are already struggling with the mobility of their residents. Whether it’s communities of color, rural communities, or those with significant socioeconomic disparities, we need to ensure that all Americans benefit from infrastructure improvements. It is an opportunity to correct some wrongs of the past and to make improvements, first and foremost for those who do not already have an adequate infrastructure. “

Contact: [email protected]

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