Large swaths of the 1,039-page bipartisan infrastructure law (the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, now in print as Public Law 117-58) enacted last November don’t necessarily make sense when reading the law itself because they are in the form of changes to underlying statute, mostly the United States Code. (Title 23 of the Code is highway law, and title 49 governs most of the rest of transportation.) (And title 26 is the dreaded Internal Revenue Code.)
This week, the Law Revision Counsel of the House of Representatives finished the laborious task of not only updating the Code with all of the changes made by the IIJA, but also updating the footnotes in each section so readers can know what changes were made by the IIJA versus what changes were made by each previous law amending that section.
The result, browsable and searchable at uscode.house.gov, puts all of the changes to the Code made by the IIJA in context.
Not all of the IIJA goes in the Code. The Code is reserved for “general and permanent” laws. “General” means that provisions of law naming specific places or individuals don’t go in the Code (laws naming Post Offices, for example, or the earmarks in previous highway bills, don’t go in the Code). And the “permanent” part means that provisions making one-time appropriations don’t go in the Code, either, so most of Division J of the IIJA isn’t codified, nor are temporary “pilot programs” or most authorizations of funding for specific years.
To the extent that provisions in the IIJA amended or extended uncodified provisions in previous surface transportation laws, the Law Revision Counsel and GPO have also updated the text of the uncodified portions of those laws on the GPO website. They are: