I'm currently trying to understand H.R.3684 - Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) but there are a few things I don't understand:

  1. The price tag:

People are referring to the bill as the $1.2tn, $1tn & $950bn infrastructure package.

  • What is the correct amount?
  • What is the correct timeline (5yrs or 8yrs)
  1. Definition of "baseline spending":

Media talks about $550bn additional spending in several sectors.

  • But what is the baseline they are referring to?
  • Is it the 2021 funding level?
  • Is it the 2021 authorization level?
  • Does it differ for different sectors?
  1. Authorization vs. Appropriation

As far as I understand, authorization is some sort of legal foundation. If spending is discretionary (?) every year in budget negotiations, congress debates how much money they should appropriate to each program out of the amount authorized. However, in the current bill there are a Lot of additional appropriations in the last segment (Division J). So some programs, for example Northeast-Corridor Amtrak funding, gets appropriations for the full timespan (22-26) that are higher than the authorized spending in the specific segment of the bill.

  • How can I interpret those numbers?
  • Is it that those amounts appropriated in the appropriations segments are guaranteed spending and those numbers in the authorization segments are additional possible spending in each year?

Which would result in my last question:

  • Does the price tag ($1.2tn/$950bn/$550bn) refer to appropriated (guaranteed) spending or does it refer to "possible" spending (appropriated + authorized to be appropriated) spending.
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    While I do agree with (most of) these questions, the site rules say that you can only ask one question per a post, so can you please edit this question to make it only ask one question? Oct 25, 2021 at 20:14
  • @EkadhSingh: Isn't it obvious that this is just one question with three connected parts.
    – markvs
    Oct 25, 2021 at 22:34
  • @markvs iirc those should still be closed as needs more focus. (I’ll update this with references once I find some.) Oct 25, 2021 at 22:39
  • @EkadhSingh-ReinstateMonica: What more focus do you need? If you come to a grocery store and ask how much is a half-gallon of milk, is your question not focused enough?
    – markvs
    Oct 25, 2021 at 22:43
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    @markvs first of all, stack exchange isn’t a grocery store. Secondly, a more accurate description would be asking “what is the price of milk, how much milk is in stock, when will the next batch of milk arrive, what is the expiration date on the cheese over there, also what’s its age. Btw, what is the weight of that pork cut, etc.” and while that might be fine at a grocery store, it asks many questions, and if asked on a stack exchange site it would (hopefully) garner close votes. Oct 26, 2021 at 2:42