Kilmer Votes to Create Jobs & Support Historic Bipartisan Investment in American Infrastructure
Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) voted to support the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act - the largest long-term investment in America’s infrastructure and competitiveness in nearly a century. The bill includes $550 billion in new federal funding for infrastructure in communities across the country. This bill passed the Senate with a bipartisan vote of 69-30 on August 10, 2021 and passed the House with a bipartisan vote of 228-206 today.
“This infrastructure bill is about jobs. It’s about putting people to work now – and laying the foundation for economic growth over the long haul by investing in roads, bridges, transit, water systems, ports, and broadband. It’s about recognizing that we can’t compete in a 21st Century economy with 19th and 20th Century infrastructure,” said Rep. Kilmer. “When there’s legislation like this that benefits the folks I represent – and that I support – I vote ‘yes’ on it. There are folks in our region who are tired of sitting in traffic. There are people who don’t have the internet access they need to have a telehealth appointment or take an online class. There are families that don’t have access to clean water. This bill is about fixing those problems. Those are priorities worth moving forward."
Rep. Kilmer continued, “In addition, I want to reiterate my commitment to passing the human infrastructure component of the President’s Build Back Better Agenda as well. Middle class families deserve a break. The Build Back Better Act will help families that are grappling with the costs of child care or caring for an elder parent, that are struggling to pay for health care and prescription drugs, or that can’t afford to pay for college. It will also create jobs by providing new help to small businesses and by taking action to combat the climate crisis. Congress can, and should, get this done in the coming days. I’ll keep working toward that end.”
The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act:
- Makes the largest federal investment in public transit ever.
- Makes the largest federal investment in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak.
- Makes the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system.
- Makes the largest investment in clean drinking water and waste water infrastructure in American history, delivering clean water to millions of families.
- Ensures every American has access to reliable high-speed internet.
- Helps tackle the climate crisis by making the largest investment in clean energy transmission and EV infrastructure in history; electrifying thousands of school and transit buses across the country; and creating a new Grid Deployment Authority to build a resilient, clean, 21st century electric grid.
In Washington, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will:
- Repair and rebuild roads and bridges with a focus on climate change mitigation, resilience, equity, and safety for all users, including cyclists and pedestrians.
- The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will devote more than $312 billion to transform the nation’s transportation infrastructure and make it more resilient, including $110 billion for roads, bridges, and major projects. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system.
- Based on formula funding alone, Washington would expect to receive $4.7 billion for federal-aid highway apportioned programs and $605 million for bridge replacement and repairs under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act over five years.
- Washington can also compete for the $12.5 billion Bridge Investment Program for economically significant bridges and nearly $16 billion of national funding in the bill dedicated for major projects that will deliver substantial economic benefits to communities.
- Improve healthy, sustainable transportation options for millions of Americans.
- Based on formula funding alone, Washington would expect to receive $1.79 billion over five years under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to improve public transportation options across the state.
- Help connect every American to reliable high-speed internet.
- Under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Washington will receive a minimum allocation of $100 million to help provide broadband coverage across the state, including providing access to the at least 241,000 Washingtonians who currently lack it.
- Under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, 1,409,000 or 19% of people in Washington will be eligible for the Affordability Connectivity Benefit, which will help low-income families afford internet access.
- Prepare infrastructure for the impacts of climate change, cyber-attacks, and extreme weather events.
- From 2010 to 2020, Washington has experienced 10 extreme weather events, costing the state up to $5 billion in damages.
- Under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, based on historical formula funding levels, Washington will expect to receive $39 million over five years to protect against wildfires. Washingtonians will also benefit from the bill’s historic $3.5 billion national investment in weatherization which will reduce energy costs for families.
- In addition, Washington will also expect to receive $18 million to protect against cyberattacks.
- Invest in Puget Sound and salmon recovery.
- The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act includes $1 billion for the U.S. Department of Transportation to create a new program aimed at removing, replacing or restoring culverts, which will enable the recovery of salmon passage and habitats. This provision was authored by Rep. Kilmer and Senator Cantwell, and this program will be the first federal program devoted entirely to culvert restoration.
- In addition, the legislation includes $172 million for NOAA’s Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund, a grant program that provides funding to States and Tribes to protect, conserve, and restore West Coast salmon, and $89 million for the Puget Sound Geographic Program, which provides critical grant support to state, local, and Tribal governments to implement projects to improve water quality and enhance fish passage and salmon habitat.
“I’m also thrilled that this bill includes initiatives I led to help recover our salmon populations,” said Rep. Kilmer. “The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will create a new program that I proposed with Senator Cantwell aimed at removing, replacing, and restoring culverts, which will improve fish passage and enable habitat recovery. This will be the first federal program devoted entirely to culvert restoration.”
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