Republican senators unveiled their own infrastructure proposal, presenting a $568 billion plan that is significantly smaller than President Biden’s $2 trillion plan.
Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) held a press conference to present their proposal, which comes as Democratic lawmakers have begun crafting the president’s infrastructure package.
According to a two-page outline released by the lawmakers, the GOP proposal includes $299 billion for roads and bridges, $61 billion for public transit systems and $20 billion for railroads, including Amtrak.
It would also provide more than $61 billion to improve ports, waterways and airports, and invest $65 billion to expand the nation’s broadband infrastructure. More than $60 billion would go toward drinking water infrastructure, water storage and highway safety measures.
“NSSGA’s members welcome the Senate infrastructure proposal released by ranking members Capito, Wicker, Toomey and Barrasso,” said National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA) Vice President, Government & Regulatory Affairs Michele Stanley. “These ranking members represent those Senate committees with relevant jurisdiction over infrastructure and they have identified and prioritized those critical public works projects in most need of federal support.
“Infrastructure is a bipartisan issue and requires a bipartisan solution,” Stanley added. “We must remain focused on the need for a multi-year surface transportation reauthorization bill which must pass Congress before Sept. 30 when the current FAST Act extension expires. While NSSGA appreciates the broad and bold infrastructure proposals offered by the Biden administration and other elected officials, today’s proposal – which totals $568 billion over five years – incorporates $299 billion for the essential highway, road and bridge project investments our country desperately needs, yet are vastly overutilized and underfunded.
“We hope today’s proposal signals an opportunity for the Senate to work together towards passing a bipartisan surface transportation reauthorization that will create countless jobs, advance our nation’s economic competitiveness and improve the daily lives of millions of Americans. NSSGA continues to push for bipartisan infrastructure investment with all Congressional stakeholders. Infrastructure has lagged and decayed for too long, and the time for real solutions are overdue.”
The U.S. Chamber also continued to urge bipartisan efforts to pass an infrastructure bill this year and is encouraged by recent developments.
“President Biden has presented his infrastructure proposal and Sen. Capito has now presented a plan that reflects the input of many Senate Republicans,” said Neil Bradley, executive vice president and chief policy officer, U.S. Chamber of Commerce: For anyone who sincerely wants to see a bold and responsible infrastructure plan finally enacted into law, there is only one path forward: bipartisan negotiations. Whether Republican or Democrat – those who declare negotiations as futile before they have even begun are the ones standing in the way of long-overdue investments in our nation’s infrastructure.
“We commend Sen. Capito for taking a leadership role in developing an infrastructure proposal and helping move these negotiations forward. We are particularly pleased to see the common ground between Republicans and Democrats on some of the key components of an infrastructure plan. The Chamber continues to urge both parties to maintain America’s traditional user-financed model of funding infrastructure and to pay for new investment over an extended period of time just like the private sector does. Lawmakers should reject broad-based tax increases that would make American employers uncompetitive and cost America jobs.”