Congress members applaud infrastructure bill passage

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Congress members applaud infrastructure bill passage

Democratic members of the U.S. House applauded the passage there of President Biden’s $1 trillion Infrastructure spending package on Friday (Nov. 5, 2021). The bill, which has been deadlocked in partisan bickering for months since it was introduced on June 4, was approved by a vote of 228 for and 206 against with 13 members of the Republican Party supporting Biden’s plan and six members of the Democratic Party’s “progressive” camp or “The Squad” opposing it.

By Ray Hanania

Democratic members of the U.S. House applauded the passage there of President Biden’s $1 trillion Infrastructure spending package on Friday (Nov. 5, 2021). The bill, which has been deadlocked in partisan bickering for months since it was introduced on June 4, was approved by a vote of 228 for and 206 against with 13 members of the Republican Party supporting Biden’s plan and six members of the Democratic Party’s “progressive” camp or “The Squad” opposing it.

Of course, other than news reports focused on the political battle for the passage of the legislation, citizens cannot get a copy of the full bill to read through its proposals and it is not available on the U.S. House page or the website of the White House.

Biden released the following statement after the bill was approved:

“The House of Representatives passed an Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.  That’s a fancy way of saying a bipartisan infrastructure bill — a once-in-a-generation investment that’s going to create millions of jobs modernizing our infrastructure — our roads, our bridges, our broadband, a whole range of things — to turn the climate crisis into an opportunity.  And it puts us on a path to win the economic competition of the 21st century that we face with China and other large countries and the rest of the world.

“It’s going to create more jobs –- good-paying jobs, union jobs that can’t be outsourced –- and they’re going to transform our transportation system with the most significant investments in passenger rail — the most significant investment in 50 years; in roads and bridges — the most significant investment in 70 years; and more investment in public transit than we’ve ever, ever made.  Period.”

Joe Biden, the 46th President of the United States sworn in on Jan 20, 2021. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Joe Biden, the 46th President of the United States sworn in on Jan 20, 2021. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
Joe Biden, the 46th President of the United States sworn in on Jan 20, 2021. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Read Biden’s full remarks by clicking this link.

Here are statements from several Illinois representatives on the bill’s passage.:

Sean Casten, Democrat:

“Infrastructure & Jobs Act. Not only will it fix the potholes in our roads & make it easier to get to work by investing billions into revitalizing Illinois’ infrastructure, but it will create jobs and grow our economy.”

Marie Newman, Democrat:

“Tonight, I proudly voted to pass President Biden’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act so that we can not only create millions of new, good-paying union jobs but also finally make the transportation and infrastructure investments that are desperately needed across our entire nation. For decades, Congress has put modernizing our infrastructure on the back burner, resulting in incomplete transit projects, broken roads, eliminated bus routes, and transportation deserts in far too many communities across the country and in my own district. Even though America is the wealthiest country in the world, we currently rank 13th in the overall quality of our infrastructure. After tonight’s passage of this historic bill, we are one step closer to changing that. With this once-in-a-lifetime investment, we are finally bringing America’s roads, bridges, transit, rail, drinking water and wastewater infrastructure into the 21st century. 

“I am also thrilled to announce that included in the passage of this infrastructure package were two major pieces of legislation of mine. This includes language from our All Stations Accessibility Program (ASAP) Act, which would provide cities with the funding they need to ensure their public transit systems meet or exceed accessibility standards under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Additionally, the package passed tonight also includes language from our Rail Center for Excellence bill, which would establish a Rail Research and Development Center of Excellence that would research the safety and efficiency of our rail systems across the country so that we can create a national standard of excellence when it comes to transportation. 

“Now, I want to be crystal clear, our work is not over. Earlier tonight, President Biden and Congressional leadership gave their word that a vote would be held in the coming weeks to finally pass the visionary, transformative, and popular Build Back Better Act. I look forward to voting to pass this transformative bill, which will deliver historic tax cuts for the middle class and provide working families with the care infrastructure they deserve. From expanding Medicare and the Child Tax Credit program to delivering universal child care and pre-K, this bill will change millions of lives for the better and create an economic engine that strengthens the middle class and brings down costs. Let’s get this done and send both these bills to the President’s desk.” 

Bill Foster, Democrat:

“For decades, Americans have been asking their elected leaders to fix crumbling roads and bridges and modernize our nation’s transportation infrastructure. Illinois residents, including those I’m proud to represent in the 11th District, know all too well what decades of neglect has meant for the infrastructure we rely on every day. I’m proud that Democrats and Republicans worked together to make this historic infrastructure investment that will finally address the concerns we’ve been hearing from our constituents for far too long. Will County is home to the largest inland port in the nation, and its importance to the supply chain cannot be overstated. The investments included in this legislation will go a long way to make sure it stays that way, and that the jobs it supports stay right here in our community.

“In addition, this bipartisan legislation makes critical investments in broadband infrastructure. This means whether you live in a big city, a suburb, or a rural town, you can access reliable, affordable, high speed broadband internet for work, school, or simply to find information and services. As the digital economy continues to expand, equitable access to the internet couldn’t be more important.

“This package also provides $55 billion to replace lead pipes in communities – from rural towns to cities, helping to ensure that millions of people and over 400,000 schools can access safe drinking water.  

“This $1.2 trillion investment is historic, and it will help to create millions of new, good paying union jobs in Illinois and across the country. A modern infrastructure will provide the foundation for decades of economic growth in communities large and small.

“I look forward to voting for the historic investments in the Build Back Better Act as soon as possible.”

Robin Kelly, Democrat:

“Today is an historic day for our country and proof that we are working on behalf of the American people to deliver real results. The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will create millions of good-paying union jobs for Illinoisans and Americans in every state while improving our nation’s crumbling infrastructure and making our roads and bridges safer, making transportation easier and more equitable and strengthening our communities against the effects of climate change,” said Congresswoman Kelly.

“Outdated infrastructure weakens our economy, makes commuting to work and school more difficult and makes it harder for businesses to bring their goods to stores,” continued Congresswoman Kelly. “The grave state of our infrastructure requires a serious investment, and that’s exactly what this bill provides. I am proud to have voted to pass the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to grow our economy and create new jobs in Illinois.”

The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will:

  • Repair roads and bridges with the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system;
  • Create the largest investment in public transit and passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak.
  • Expand broadband to ensure that every American has access to reliable high-speed internet;
  • Secure clean water for our children by making the largest investment in clean drinking water & wastewater infrastructure in American history, replacing lead pipes and delivering clean water to millions of families.

Ray Hanania is an award-winning columnist, author & former Chicago City Hall reporter (1977-1992). A veteran who served during the Vietnam War and the recipient of four SPJ Peter Lisagor Awards for column writing, Hanania writes weekly opinion columns on mainstream American & Chicagoland topics for the Southwest News-Herald, Des Plaines Valley News, the Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers, and Suburban Chicagoland.  

Hanania also writes about Middle East issues for the

Arab News

, and

The Arab Daily News

 criticizing government policies in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Hanania was named "Best Ethnic American Columnist" by the New America Media in November 2007, and is the 2009 recipient of the SPJ National Sigma Delta Chi Award for column writing.

Email Ray Hanania at

rghanania@gmail.com.

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via Suburban Chicagoland

November 6, 2021 at 07:49PM

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