November 8, 2021
U.S. House Votes to Advance President Biden’s Infrastructure Package
WASHINGTON – Consumer advocates praised the House passage of H.R. 3684, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (or “IIJA”). Along with major items such as investment in water infrastructure, IIJA helps low-income families bear rising energy costs and aims to close the digital divide by addressing broadband affordability.
“This bill makes great strides in closing the digital divide by providing substantial funds for broadband affordability and digital equity,” said Olivia Wein, staff attorney at the National Consumer Law Center. “The IIJA also includes substantial funding to weatherize the homes of low-income families and funding to help those families afford their heating and cooling bills.”
The bi-partisan infrastructure bill provides $14 billion for a low-income broadband affordability program and $2.75 billion for digital equity programs that include digital literacy programs. IIJA also provides $3.5 billion for the low-income weatherization program to ensure low-income homes are more energy efficient and $500 million for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program to help low-income households afford their heating and cooling bills.