U.S. Senate Republicans yesterday unveiled a framework to improve the nation’s infrastructure.
The Republican infrastructure framework, which includes $568 billion in infrastructure investments over a five-year period, will serve as a guide as the Senate continues to develop bipartisan bills that will go through regular order. This is the largest infrastructure investment that Republicans have ever put forth, according to the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee. The proposal comes on the heels of the Biden Administration's American Jobs Plan.
“Republicans and Democrats agree that our infrastructure is in need of repair and expansion," Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia), Ranking Member of the EPW Committee, said in a statement. "We have an opportunity to develop bipartisan legislation that makes these long-term investments, while at the same time driving job creation and economic growth."
Senate Republicans say they believe that the nation's infrastructure needs to be rebuilt, expanded, and brought into the 21st century with a forward-leaning vision, and that Congress and the Biden Administration should reach a bipartisan agreement that will improve the infrastructure in all states and communities, while achieving important national goals. Those goals include boosting economic growth and global competitiveness and creating jobs; improving the quality of life for all Americans; strengthening national security and continuing to improve safety; and bolstering the ability to respond to and withstand extreme weather events and natural disasters and protecting the environment.
The framework includes $568 billion in infrastructure investments over a five-year period through renewed federal policies and programs. Funding levels include:
- Roads and Bridges – $299 billion
- Public Transit Systems – $61 billion
- Rail – $20 billion
- Safety – $13 billion
- Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure – $35 billion
- Inland Waterways and Ports – $17 billion
- Airports – $44 billion
- Broadband Infrastructure (additional funding) – $65 billion
- Water Storage – $14 billion
Various industry associations released statements in response to the Republican infrastructure proposal.
“Senate Republicans have put forward a proposal that recognizes the value of using proven existing programs and increasing funding for infrastructure over current levels. But this is only one further step in the process,” Jim Tymon, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, said in a statement. "We look forward to Republicans and Democrats working with the Administration to reach a bipartisan agreement that significantly increases investment and modernizes our nation’s infrastructure as soon as possible.”
“Today’s proposal from Senate Republicans illustrates the desire to address the nation’s mobility and economic competitiveness challenges is broad-based and real," ARTBA President and CEO Dave Bauer said in a statement. "A wide-ranging federal infrastructure renewal initiative is much needed and long overdue. Recent history with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, however, demonstrates the necessity of reauthorizing the core surface transportation programs as a foundational element of any final plan. The expiration of more than $50 billion in federal highway and public transportation funding in five months underscores the relevance of this lesson. While an exchange of principles is a necessary step, these priorities must be accompanied by a will to deliver results that benefit all Americans.”
SOURCE: Senate Environment and Public Works Committee