WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Senate voted 69 to 30 to adopt the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a major bipartisan package for transportation, clean water, power infrastructure and broadband. The vote comes after years of failed “Infrastructure Weeks” and months of debate over President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan, which proposed funding for road maintenance, transit, and electric vehicle charging infrastructure. That plan also called for replacing all lead pipes nationwide, modernizing the electrical grid, and expanding broadband.
The legislation now heads to the U.S. House of Representatives, which earlier this summer passed its own INVEST In America Act with funding for clean water infrastructure, lead pipe removal, and clean transportation.
Environment America’s President Wendy Wendlandt issued the following statement:
“The infrastructure we build impacts our health and the environment for decades into the future. We applaud the Senate for recognizing that all Americans want clean air to breathe, clean, lead-free water to drink, and more options to get around.
“This legislation makes needed progress in these areas. It begins to rectify the harms of past infrastructure investments, by removing lead pipes and targeting investments to protect our kids from lead in school drinking water; cleaning up Superfund sites; and reconnecting wildlife habitats. Just as important, it makes investments in the clean transportation technologies we need to have a livable future.
“To stave off the worst impacts of global warming, we must electrify all our cars, buses and trucks, and tap the nearly limitless power of renewable energy. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act’s proposed funding for zero emission buses and electric vehicle charging infrastructure is a strong start.”
U.S. PIRG’s Chairman Doug Phelps issued the following statement:
“To solve social problems, we need leaders, who don't always agree, to set aside their differences and reach compromises on solutions.
“This bill reflects that bipartisan spirit and takes major steps toward a cleaner and healthier America. It includes the largest-ever federal investment in public transportation. It invests in electric school buses. It reinstates the 'polluter pays' taxes for hazardous waste Superfund site cleanups.
“This historic investment will leave our country healthier, stronger and more resilient. We look forward to its passage and the hard, but necessary work of finding more common ground on solutions to more of America's problems.”