FACT CHECK: Does The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Contain A $1.3 Billion ‘Bailout’ For The Media?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims the bipartisan infrastructure bill contains a $1.3 billion “bailout” for the media.

Verdict: False

The media-related legislation is in the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package, not the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill.

Fact Check:

Congressional Democrats are currently attempting to pass a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package and a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, both foundational pieces of President Joe Biden’s economic agenda, according to CNBC. Facebook users have been sharing a screenshot of a tweet claiming the media is receiving a $1.3 billion “bailout” as part of the infrastructure bill.

“Did you know that inside this trillion-dollar infrastructure bill is a $1.3 billion ‘bailout’ for the media,” reads the tweet. “What the hell does the mainstream media need our tax money?” (RELATED: Facebook Post Claims The U.S. Has The Fourth-Highest Poverty Rate In The World At 17.8%)

However, the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill does not contain any so-called bailout for the media. Check Your Fact reviewed the text of the infrastructure bill but found no mention of any tax credits or funding for journalists or media organizations. An internet search likewise failed to uncover any credible media reports about the bill having any allocations for a media “bailout.”

The tweet may be referring to the Local Journalism Sustainability Act, an entirely different bill that “seeks to provide a pathway to financial viability for local newspapers around the country through a series of three tax credits,” according to a press release from Democratic Arizona Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, who introduced the bill in June. A major aspect of the bill, a payroll tax credit to help newsrooms hire and retain journalists, is currently included in the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package, The Seattle Times reported. The Senate Joint Committee on Taxation predicted the payroll tax credit could cost $1.269 billion over 10 years.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Democrats are aiming to pass both the infrastructure bill and the reconciliation package by late October, according to CNBC.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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