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What's inside Congress' infrastructure and social policy bills, and how might they 'Build Back' America?


Two major spending bills are currently working their way through Congress. If passed, they have the potential to reshape much of American life.

First, is a bipartisan infrastructure bill. The Senate passed the bill this summer, but it has yet to pass the House. The bill would put tens of billions toward traditional infrastructure — including road, bridge and public transit projects — as well as projects like broadband infrastructure.

The second is a social policy bill. Original estimates of the cost were $3.5 trillion, and it planned to fund or expand things like paid family leave, child care, universal prekindergarten, child tax credits, school nutrition programs, federal aid for community college and more.

But debates over the package continue, and it is expected to be trimmed down to get centrist Democrats on board.

We speak with national and state experts to learn what a "once-in-a-generation” investment would mean for North Carolina and the country as a whole.


Deirdre Walsh, congressional editor for NPR’s Washington desk

Mike DeBonis, congressional reporter covering the House of Representatives for The Washington Post

Eric Heberlig, professor of political science and public administration at the University of North Carolina Charlotte

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Jesse Steinmetz is Producer of Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Before joining WFAE in 2019, he was an intern at WNPR in Hartford, Connecticut and hosted a show at Eastern Connecticut State University.