House Democrats introduced an $85 billion infrastructure bill on Wednesday that makes renewable energy growth a big priority in an anticipated debate over one of President Trump's biggest agenda items.
Rep. Frank Pallone of New Jersey, the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, introduced the bill with his Democratic colleagues on the panel.
The bill, called the Leading Infrastructure for Tomorrow's America Act, or LIFT for short, is described as "a blueprint for critical investments in our nation's infrastructure that will also create jobs, promote economic growth and protect public health and the environment."
LIFT would secure funding for projects over five years, with renewable energy, energy efficiency and electric grid upgrades top priorities. The energy upgrades would be the third-highest priority, receiving $17 billion over the five years.
The number one and two priorities include: $40 billion to build out broadband Internet across the nation; and $22.5 billion to improve drinking water infrastructure, which has become a major issue for lawmakers after the lead contamination crisis in Flint, Mich., that dogged the presidential campaign season last year.
The fourth and fifth priorities include $3 billion to improve hospitals and research facilities on infectious disease and $2.7 to clean up industrial waste sites called brownfields.
The Senate Democrats introduced their $1 trillion infrastructure bill early in the year, which was shot down almost immediately by the Republican majority. The time Pallone took to draft the bill may indicate there is some assurance that it will at least be considered during the debate.