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A transformative $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill passed in the U.S. House on Friday by a bipartisan vote of 228 to 206, delivering money to fix and improve crumbling roads, water systems, bridges, airports, mass transit and broadband.
The infrastructure bill is a major victory for the administration of President Joe Biden, a Democrat who at long last delivered a policy victory on something his predecessor, former President Donald Trump, promised but failed to get done for years.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed with yes votes from 13 Republicans, while six progressive Democrats voted against it as they held out for a companion Build Back Better bill expected to fund many transformative social programs and climate change measures.
The infrastructure bill had already passed the U.S. Senate on a bipartisan vote that included 19 Republicans led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Biden is expected to sign the bill into law as he continues to push for the nearly $2 trillion Build Back Better bill.
In Colorado, all four Democratic House members voted in favor of the infrastructure bill, while the three Republicans opposed it.
U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse, whose district includes Vail and the eastern third of Eagle County, praised the bill’s passage for the many climate provisions he helped get into the legislation.
U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, whose district includes the western two thirds of Eagle County, blasted the bill and the Republicans who helped pass it in a bitter partisan tweet on Saturday:
“Democrats did not pass the “infrastructure” bill. RINOs did. The final votes should have been 215-219, but 13 Rs helped Pelosi get this passed ushering in the $4.3 trillion BBB.”
RINOs are “Republicans in Name Only”.
Neguse issued this press release on Saturday:
Yesterday, Congressman Joe Neguse secured passage of several key-climate resiliency priorities as the House passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The plan includes investments in wildfire management and climate resiliency, including his Joint-Chiefs Landscape Restoration Partnership Proposal, upgrades to America’s power grid to help communities prepare for climate related natural disasters and an extension of the Secure Rural Schools Program, a proposal Rep. Neguse has been pushing since he started in Congress.
“As communities across Colorado face more frequent and more severe climate-related weather events— such as the record-setting wildfires and terrible flash flooding we’ve witnessed this past year— it’s more clear than ever that we need to make major investments in our lands, our forests and our communities,” said Congressman Joe Neguse. “For the last year we’ve been calling on Congress to robustly address the threat of catastrophic wildfire and fund climate resilient infrastructure. Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act which passed the House last night, we are delivering on several of these key priorities for Colorado. Included in the bill are our proposals to make major investments in wildfire prevention and collaborative forest programs, upgrade our power grid and reauthorize the secure rural schools program, providing essential funds to Colorado schools. These investments will have a tangible impact on our Colorado communities and it was critical to get them into the hands of our families and communities.”
“Let me be clear also that this is a first step of many. Passing the Build Back Better Act and fully delivering on the Biden Agenda is absolutely critical as we support our communities recovering from record-setting wildfires, invest in American families and finally take meaningful action to tackle the climate crisis. I look forward to delivering on the full Build Back Better Agenda in the coming weeks.”
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act includes the following Neguse-led proposals:
Colorado U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet issued this statement on Saturday:
Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and a rule to allow for a later vote on the Build Back Better Act:
“Today’s House vote moves us one step closer to a transformational investment in our infrastructure. For years, Washington has talked about coming together to rebuild America. This bill finally achieves it with a historic, bipartisan investment in the roads, bridges, airports, water systems, and high-speed broadband America needs to compete in the 21st century.
“But our work isn’t finished. We must also pass new investments to support kids and families, fight climate change, restore our Western forests and watersheds, and expand access to health care. At a time when many people have lost faith in Washington, we can remind Americans that our government can respond meaningfully to their urgent challenges.”
The IIJA passed with key Bennet-led initiatives, including: