Not many issues unite Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill like crumbling roads, airports and transit systems back home. It would also reauthorize the surface transportation program for the next five years and build on transportation reauthorization bills that passed out of committees earlier this year. "This investment will repair and rebuild our roads and bridges with a focus on climate change mitigation, resilience, equity, and safety for all users, including cyclists and pedestrians," the details read. $39 billion for public transit and $25 billion for airports The infrastructure package will include$39 billion for public transit, seeking to modernize public rail and other means of transport. It would also dedicate $42 billion towards airports — which would receive $25 billion — as well as ports and waterways. Biden and Democrats had originally sought to include electric charging stations, but Republicans, many of whom represent fossil fuel-producing states, were wary of adding progressive climate policies to a bill they generally believe should focus on increasing transportation capacity. However, the final agreement does include $7.5 billion for electric vehicle stations and the same amount for electric busses. $55 billion investing in clean drinking water $21 billion towards environmental remediation $11 billion for transportation safety projects $1 billion towards reconnecting communities divided by interstates One of the obstacles the senators faced was how to pay for the legislation. There had been debate amongst the bipartisan group over cracking down on wealth tax cheats and other provisions to pay for the amount of revenue needed to cover the costs. The White House announcement was vague about how to pay for the measure, saying it would be financed "through a combination of redirecting unspent emergency relief funds, targeted corporate user fees, strengthening tax enforcement when it comes to crypto currencies, and other bipartisan measures." In addition, the White House said some of the bill would be paid for through "the revenue generated from higher economic growth as a result of the investments." The agreement avoids taxes on the wealthy and stronger IRS enforcement — ideas backed by Democrats and opposed by Republicans. Instead, the spending would be offset primarily by unspent COVID-19 relief funds from last year, targeted corporate user fees and strengthening tax enforcement on crypto currencies. The reveal of the agreement comes after Senate Democrats reached an agreement on a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation plan that would expand Medicare, fund climate change initiatives and fulfill other parts of Biden’s economic agenda. Democrats hope to pass that bill without Republican support using a legislative maneuver called reconciliation – on top of the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Democratic leadership in both chambers of Congress, and the president, have long stressed a "two track" plan to pass a smaller bipartisan deal that aims at tackling traditional infrastructure, and a reconciliation bill that aims to assist in human infrastructure — such as child care and climate change. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., is one of the negotiators in the infrastructure talks. The goal is to pass one, or even both, pieces of legislation before the chambers leave for a nearly month long recess in the month of August. However, Democrats need all 50 members of their caucus — including the two independents who vote with them — to vote in support of the reconciliation bill. But the optimism towards that planned dimmed Wednesday when Sen.https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2021/07/28/infrastructure-bill-includes-roads-bridges-broadband-under-deal/7979680002/
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AIG profit beats estimates on general insurance, retirement gains The AIG logo is seen at its building in New York's financial district March 19, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid Aug 5 (Reuters) - American International Group Inc (AIG.N) beat second-quarter profit estimates on Thursday, driven by strong performance in its general insurance and life and retirement units. The U.S. insurer posted underwriting income of $463 million in its general insurance business in the quarter, compared with a loss of $343 million http://madm.dfki.de/smartvideobuddy a year earlier, when it booked large losses related to the pandemic. The business saw $118 million of catastrophe losses, compared to $674 million in the prior year. Global insurers last year faced a sharp rise in payouts related to the health crisis, but many have now seen a fall in coronavirus-related claims as vaccines roll out. Adjusted after-tax income attributable to AIG's common shareholders rose to $1.33 billion in the quarter ended June 30, from $561 million a year earlier. Excluding items, AIG earned $1.52 per share, exceeding analysts' estimates of $1.20, according to Refinitiv IBES. The company's general insurance accident year combined ratio - which excludes catastrophe losses - was 91.1 for the quarter, compared with 94.9 a year earlier. A ratio below 100 means the insurer earns more in premiums than it pays out in claims. Gross premiums written rose 12% to $9.5 billion in the general insurance business. AIG's life and retirement unit posted a 26% jump in adjusted pre-tax income to $1.12 billion, driven partly by higher private equity returns. The life insurance business reported an adjusted pre-tax profit of $20 million, compared to $2 million a year earlier, largely reflecting fewer deaths from the virus outbreak. AIG plans to use an initial public offering to sell part of its life and retirement business, while Blackstone Group (BX.N) last month agreed to buy a sizeable stake. read more AIG said on Thursday that it believes the IPO is the next step in the separation. Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru and Alwyn Scott in New York; Editing by Maju Samuelhttps://www.reuters.com/business/finance/aig-profit-beats-estimates-general-insurance-retirement-gains-2021-08-05/