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Five controversial policies tucked inside $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill passed by Congress

Among the policies are a cryptocurrency tax provision and mandating drunk/impaired "driving prevention technology" in vehicles

Published: November 8, 2021 12:17pm

Updated: November 9, 2021 9:05am

The final $1.2 trillion INVEST in America Act passed the Democrat-led House in a late night vote on Friday. Tucked away inside the infrastructure bill are some controversial policies, including these five:

1. The cryptocurrency tax provision in the Senate version of the bill was the subject of scrutiny from Democrats and Republicans. The language was not amended in the final bill that passed the House. The legislation includes an IRS reporting requirement for brokers of cryptocurrency transactions.

2. Under the "national motor vehicle per-mile user fee pilot" section of the bill, there is a pilot program to create a vehicle miles traveled system for taxing drivers based on their annual vehicle mileage. During his confirmation process, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg floated the idea of taxing motorists based on the number of miles they travel each year as a way to partly fund the legislation. The Biden administration backed off of full-scale development of the controversial proposal, settling instead for a pilot program. 

3. The bill includes a $118 billion bailout for the Highway Trust Fund, currently funded primarily through federal taxes on gas and diesel fuel. The funds are set to be transferred from the Treasury General Fund to the Highway Trust Fund.

4. The bill includes a mandate for vehicle manufactures to install "drunk and impaired driving prevention technology" as a standard safety feature inside of new vehicles. 

5. The bill provides select cabinet secretaries with the authority to waive government cost-sharing rules with the private sector and fully fund select infrastructure projects with taxpayer dollars.

According to both the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget and the Congressional Budget Office, the legislation is not fully paid for and will add to the nation's deficit. 

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