Infrastructure Bill Signed How Should the Money be Spent?
The Transportation Alliance / November 15, 2021
President Biden just signed the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package into law in a rare bipartisan event attended by members of Congress, governors and mayors at the White House South Lawn.
"Most of all it does something truly historic," Biden said before signing the law. "I ran for President believing it was time to rebuild the backbone of this nation which I characterize as working people in the middle class. They are the ones who built the country. And to rebuild the economy from the bottom up and the middle out, this law delivers on that long overdue promise in my view. It creates better jobs for millions of Americans."
What the bill will do: Once signed, it will deliver $550 billion of new federal investments in America's infrastructure over five years, including money for roads, bridges, mass transit, rail, airports, ports and waterways.
The roughly $1 trillion package, which passed the House with the support of most Democrats and 13 Republicans, has exposed an acrimonious rift within the GOP over whether Republican lawmakers should be cooperating with Democrats, much less celebrating with them.
Now, many GOP lawmakers say they’re skipping the event, as Republican members of Congress who ensured the legislation’s success find themselves contending with death threats from outside Congress and calls within their own party to strip them of their House committee assignments.
Michigan Rep. Fred Upton, one of the Republicans who said he received death threats for voting “yes,” also disputed that he and his 12 colleagues are helping Democrats advance their other bill, which Democrats are hoping to pass next week. Instead, he said, the 13 House Republicans prevented progressives from continuing to hold up the infrastructure bill.
President Joe Biden named former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu to oversee implementation of the $1 trillion infrastructure plan, the White House said on Sunday.
Landrieu, also a Democratic former Louisiana lieutenant governor, led New Orleans from 2010 to 2018. He played a key role in helping the city rebound from the devastating Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Biden, who will sign the infrastructure bill into law on Monday, named Landrieu senior adviser responsible for coordinating implementation of the bill that includes big jumps in spending on roads, bridges, rail, airports, transit, ports, broadband internet and removing lead pipes.
Biden held a similar role as vice president under then-President Barack Obama, overseeing an $800 billion 2009 economic stimulus package. Biden said on Friday: "We owe it to the American people to make sure the money ... (is) used for purposes it was intended."
The passage of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure spending package is setting off a mad dash from states and counties seeking federal funds to repair and replace the nation's crumbling bridges, roads and ports.
The legislation does not name any specific projects that will receive funding, but here are four that will be seeking federal money.