Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) reiterated the House Democrats’ plan to roll out an infrastructure plan by the end of January. She noted how the Democrats have exhausted the prospect of working with the White House on any sort of infrastructure framework and have instead chosen to go forward without the Trump Administration’s support. This move by House Democrats comes against the backdrop of President Trump’s frequent calls for infrastructure legislation during his 2016 campaign.
As part of the rollout of the House Democrats’ infrastructure proposal, the issue of broadband internet access will likely be reignited as provisions aimed at closing the digital divide are expected to make their way into the legislation. The all-Democrat Rural Broadband Task Force, which was formed in 2019 and led by Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-South Carolina), has been working closely with the House Energy and Commerce Committee to develop and introduce broadband legislation into the broader infrastructure package. There is wide consensus amongst Democrats that significant investment in broadband infrastructure is necessary, but it remains unclear what support they will get from Republicans or the White House, who backed away from the 2018 infrastructure bill following significant negotiations.