Tech groups back nearly $1 trillion in infrastructure spending

Letter urges Congress to agree on $974 billion investment

Ten technology groups have backed almost $1 trillion in proposed infrastructure spending, citing the need to support a technology-driven economy. 

Ten technology groups wrote to members of Congress today, urging them to support the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework, a $974 billion infrastructure spending plan proposed as part of a broader $4 trillion federal spending package. 

"Better infrastructure will help connect more Americans to digital opportunity, improve the resilience of our technology networks, move us toward a cleaner energy future, and make it easier for U.S. technology firms to create more American jobs," said the letter, first seen by the Washington Post

The App Association, which represents around 5,000 app developers, signed the letter, along with the Chamber of Progress, an industry coalition supported by the likes of Amazon and Facebook

The Computer and Communications Industry Association was a co-signatory. Also co-signing was the Connected Commerce Council, which focuses on getting access to digital technologies for small businesses. 

The Developers Alliance, startup advocacy group Engine, the Internet Association, Tech:NYC, the Software & Information Industry Association, and technology company executives group TechNet also signed. 

Senators from both parties have spent the past few months hammering out the infrastructure agreement, which is likely to go to a vote next week. It provides around two-thirds of the investment the president announced in his American Jobs Plan, including investments in transportation, water, universal broadband, power, pollution remediation, and climate change mitigation. 

Technology-focused measures in the plan include building a national network of electric vehicle chargers along highways in disadvantaged and rural communities, bringing the total number of chargers to 500,000. It will also electrify school and transit buses, connect every citizen to high-speed broadband internet, and upgrade the country's power infrastructure. The plan explicitly mentions investing in infrastructure resilience against cyber attacks. 

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"While the U.S. currently leads the world in technological innovation, these investments will allow all Americans to benefit from advances in technology and help U.S. workers and businesses compete globally," the letter continued before urging members of Congress to sign it. 

The big hurdle is getting centrist and far-left Republicans to support the plan. Advocates are getting resistance from senators worried about how the country will pay for it. A big part of the financing plan involves collecting unpaid taxes, reinstating superfund fees for chemicals, selling some of the strategic petroleum reserves, and using the proceeds of 5G spectrum auctions.

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