Infrastructure Investment Takes a Big Step Forward

An agreement has been reached by the bipartisan group of senators negotiating legislation that will invest more than $1 trillion to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure without raising taxes on the nation’s job creators.

The proposal invests $110 billion of new funds for roads, bridges, and major projects, $17 billion for airport infrastructure, $25 billion for airports to address repair and maintenance backlogs, and $55 billion in clean drinking water infrastructure. Additionally, there are historic investments for broadband (included targeted funding for rural and underserved areas) and power infrastructure.

The vote opens the process to debate and amend the proposal, which would put $550 billion into transportation, broadband and utilities. Senators voted 67-32 to push the bill forward; 17 Republicans and all 50 Democrats voted yes.

“Despite the popularity of it and the need for it, Washington hasn’t been able to get it done,” said GOP Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, the lead GOP negotiator of the deal, after the infrastructure vote. “This time we’re going to get it done.”

“The National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA) thanks the 67 senators who voted to moved forward with debate on the bipartisan infrastructure legislation,” said NSSGA President and CEO Michael Johnson. “We praise the leadership of Senators Krysten Sinema (R-Ariz.), and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) along with the entire G-22 and their staffs that have worked, day and night to negotiate the details of this package that will deliver the infrastructure investment our nation desperately needs. We must also acknowledge the leadership of Sen. Shelly Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and the Problem Solvers Caucus who took action earlier this year to advance proposals that helped deliver today’s results.

“The final product we expect the Senate to approve in the coming days will provide transformative federal investment into our crumbling infrastructure network, grow our national economy and create millions of jobs throughout the country. This is a once in a generation infrastructure effort and NSSGA urges every Senator to support this legislation,” Johnson said. “We now call upon the House to rapidly approve this important measure. Failure to act only prolongs our economic recovery and brings greater uncertainty to job creators as the expiration of our surface transportation programs draws near.”

After the announcement of a bipartisan infrastructure deal, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo said, “Today, we are one step closer to making a historic investment in America’s infrastructure that will create millions of jobs and position the U.S. to remain competitive in the 21st century. From the start, President Biden was committed to bringing Republicans and Democrats together to get this done, and both sides came together in good faith to reach a deal that will strengthen every community. We are showing the world how democracies can deliver for workers, families and businesses across the country. Everyone will see the benefits of investing in our infrastructure. From expanding access to affordable, reliable broadband to rebuilding our road and bridges, this deal delivers for the American public.”

Associated Equipment Distributors said in a statement, “The legislation will create jobs and economic growth, address years of underfunding in rural infrastructure and promote the efficient movement of all goods – from machinery to agriculture products – to customers and ports.” 

Jack Howard, senior vice president of government affairs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said, “We applaud the bipartisan group of Senators led by Senators Portman and Sinema – who worked tirelessly to achieve agreement on this much needed infrastructure proposal. The investment included in this agreement will provide enormous benefits for the American people and the economy. Our nation has been waiting for infrastructure modernization for over a decade, and this is a critical step in the process. We now urge the full Senate to vote yes on the cloture motion to proceed to consideration so infrastructure legislation can be approved before the August recess.”

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) applauded the positive infrastructure developments. “AASHTO applauds the bipartisan group of Senators and President Biden for reaching agreement on this historic bipartisan infrastructure bill,” said Jim Tymon, AASHTO executive director. “We recognize this long-sought agreement is a crucial demonstration of the solid bipartisan support for infrastructure investment including roads, bridges, public transit, passenger rail, ports, airports, safety, and resilience – as well as broadband, water, and energy systems. We are particularly grateful for the addition of $550 billion in new funding on top of the much-needed five-year surface transportation reauthorization bills passed with strong bipartisan support by the Senate Environment and Public Works and Commerce Committees. AASHTO and our state department of transportation members stand ready to work with Congress and the administration toward enactment of this major infrastructure package as soon as possible.”

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