Guest Column: Why Senator Rounds Should Support the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal

Will Thomssen

Why Senator Rounds Should Support the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal
by Will Thomssen, IUOE Local 49

As a member of the Executive Board for Local 49, I represent skilled workers from across the construction industry. Speaking for myself and our organization, we support the proposed bipartisan infrastructure package, which will be a historic investment in American infrastructure. A deal of this magnitude is a once-in-a-generation investment opportunity that our country is long overdue for. In addition to fixing America’s roads and bridges, it will deliver clean water to communities across the nation and finally connect rural America to high-speed internet. Our workers and businesses stand to benefit from the hundreds of billions pumped into the American economy if Republicans and Democrats can compromise. Funded by $1.2 trillion over 8 years, the bill utilizes several funding mechanisms including the redirection of excess emergency relief funds from the covid-19 pandemic response.

If the bipartisan infrastructure framework is passed by Congress, American communities and workers will enjoy substantial, long awaited benefits. The bill provides for the modernization and expansion of federal investment in a variety of physical infrastructure projects, most notably broadband and clean energy. Helping ensure all Americans are connected to broadband is critical for their economic future. And the deal provides new investment into clean water and wastewater systems to replace their faulty predecessors. It finances the removal of lead pipes that have poisoned Americans for generations and expands access to clean drinking water for rural and underserved communities.

More traditional infrastructure projects, which are just as necessary, are also included in the proposed framework. The repair and rebuilding of our roads and bridges will finally be fully funded. The American public will also benefit from upgrades to run-down mass transit systems and airports. Old school and transit buses will be replaced by electric alternatives, significantly reducing emissions from our transportation sector. On that front, the bill also funds the expansion of electric vehicle charging stations, which are quickly becoming a necessity.

The bill increases our resilience against foreign cyber-attacks and extreme weather events caused by climate change. Both of those threats to our infrastructure have become more frequent in recent years and must be addressed. This bipartisan framework enables the modernization and enhancement of security for our entire electric power grid, while also establishing a new Infrastructure Financing Authority to complement existing funding mechanisms.

Congress has the opportunity to pass this infrastructure bill into law, but for that to happen, they need the full support of leaders such as Senator Rounds. By publicly voicing his support for this bipartisan infrastructure framework, Senator Rounds can play a crucial role in repairing America’s infrastructure. This historic deal is a rare opportunity that must not be passed up.

 

25 thoughts on “Guest Column: Why Senator Rounds Should Support the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal”

  1. You lost me with the mention of climate change.

    Does this also include the dems wish list for social programs, which are NOT infrastructure?

      1. Universal pre-K, affordable day care, a national paid leave, green new deal public housing for starters.

          1. All not the responsibility of the government and other taxpayers, Marxist. I think Springer is right to fuss about spending the country into oblivion, despite the oblivious, such as yourself.

          2. My above was based on the assumption that this was regarding the 3+ trillion Biden wants to spend, not the 550 billion.

            The only thing I would say on the 550 billion is that it shouldn’t specifically look to pad union pockets, despite the guest columnist’s wishes. Unions should not be a protected class, and those who don’t wish to support them shouldn’t be forced to.

    1. It was crafted in a bipartisan manner with 11 Democrats and 11 Republicans. What is left to negotiate? Did you even read anything about this bill or how it came to be?

      1. It does not follow that because it is bipartisan it is inherently good. That’s the point. I want more scrutiny (even from me) before proceeding.

        How much pork is in there?

        I’ll try to get to it, but I have to warn you I’m running hard this week with information I’ve already loaded-up.

  2. Old school and transit buses will be replaced by electric alternatives, significantly reducing emissions from our transportation sector… are you suggesting we invest in the electric buses burning up?!!!

    A California transit official said electric buses manufactured by Proterra are melting in the California heat. One electric bus caught fire while it was charging and the agency said the electric buses are just too expensive to fix.

  3. Well said on all accounts. The time to invest in sustainable infrastructure is long overdue. I don’t see this as a partisan issue. It’s an issue of doing what it takes to support our rural economy, growth of our state, and simply doing the sensible thing for the future.

  4. What a joke! Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. This is a partisan setup to feed Biden supporting unions. It sounds good on the surface, but sneaking in behind it is a massive spending bill (infrastructure – part 2) that will be utterly filled with Green New Deal pork. Hold the line NOW!

  5. I love how these code words are thrown down to sell a wish list. It almost becomes creed.

    How about we “invest” in “sustainable” government spending? You know, “modernizing” our government so it doesn’t destroy capital creation.

  6. This is a “tax on the poor”. The inflation will hurt the poor the most in the next few years.

    The author is obviously ignorant since he mentioned climate change. I’m going to give him a pass since he didn’t say it was human climate change. Everyone knows that humans cannot control the climate.

    I don’t have an issue with spending money on “physical” infrastructure. This bill is will probably not cover that. We don’t know the specifics yet.

    Unions don’t care about the poor. Unions are selfish. I want the author to tell us how much his union has donated to charitable organizations?

    As for cyber attacks, I read that the “experts” couldn’t answer Sen. Cruz’s questions today.

    This is a “tax on the poor”. The inflation will hurt the poor the most in the next few years.

    The author is obviously ignorant since he mentioned climate change. I’m going to give him a pass since he didn’t say it was human climate change. Everyone knows that humans cannot control the climate.

    I don’t have an issue with spending money on “physical” infrastructure. This bill is will probably not cover that. We don’t know the specifics yet.

    Unions don’t care about the poor. Unions are selfish. I want the author to tell us how much his union has donated to charitable organizations?

    As for cyber attacks, I read that the “experts” couldn’t answer Sen. Cruz’s questions today.

    This is a “tax on the poor”. The inflation will hurt the poor the most in the next few years.

    The author is obviously ignorant since he mentioned climate change. I’m going to give him a pass since he didn’t say it was human climate change. Everyone knows that humans cannot control the climate.

    I don’t have an issue with spending money on “physical” infrastructure. This bill is will probably not cover that. We don’t know the specifics yet.

    Unions don’t care about the poor. Unions are selfish. I want the author to tell us how much his union has donated to charitable organizations?

    As for cyber attacks, I read that the “experts” couldn’t answer Sen. Cruz’s questions today.

  7. Plain and simple the infrastructure bill comes down to brining tangible and practical needs to Americans. There may be some fine details to work out, but I have no doubt that our country needs improved roads, quality water, and better broadband (especially in South Dakota). These have been neglected to a shameful level in some parts. The bill is a step toward addressing this.

  8. About freaking time. We can’t count on the South Dakota legislature to fix our roads or bridges, let alone invest in broadband infrastructure. It’s also a great opportunity to create jobs and educational programs to hopefully manufacture or fix those electric buses at the SDSM&T or at any of the trade schools here in the state.

    it’s also a big win for truck stops and gas station owners as those will likely be the places with the EV charging stations will be.

    This is also a compromise bill between Republicans and Democrats where both sides get something. I’m happy to see this and grateful both the Senators got to contribute to the bill through their committee work.

  9. Cut the following which has nothing to do with infrastructure (they should be discussed on their own merits) and I’m good to go:

    $21 billion in environmental remediation.

    $11 billion in transportation safety programs.

    $7.5 billion for electric vehicles and EV charging; $2.5 billion in zero emission buses, $2.5 billion in low emission buses, and $2.5 billion for ferries.

    The bill will include language regarding enforcement of unemployment insurance fraud, and is fully paid for.

    1. I agree 100%.

      In South Dakota, we have actors in the bureaucracy who may have leveraged the pandemic unemployment programs to create residual interest payments to the state by falsely denying claims to self employed individuals.

      This is state sponsored fraud in my view, if true.

      Our investigation of this is ongoing. We expect to complete our work by February 2022.

    2. Troy again proving he has no grasp about what he’s typing… remediation deals with superfund sites, which a plentiful across the state. It also deals with streams and rivers when we span infrastructure across them and through them, it also funds repairing land when infrastructure is changed or altered.

      Transportation safety also includes sidewalks which are a part of the American’s with Disabilities Act and helps prevent traffic related death. Troy surely can’t be dumb enough to think that people aren’t hit by cars, buses, the current Attorney General, or even motorcycles. It also helps with street signage, traffic lights, traffic patterns.

      I can’t believe he’s also going to try and prevent communities from having to spend less on fuel by procuring electric and hydrogen vehicles. Just because they’re better for the environment, doesn’t mean they also can’t have fiscal benefits. Surely Troy cant be opposed to having communities look for better long term fiscal planning options.

      Troy also has no idea what is in or out of the bill, because guess what- half of the bill isn’t even written as of yet. No one should really ever take anything he writes as fact- because it’s usually far from the mark.

      1. If the bill hasn’t been written yet, it is foolish to advocate its passage without the details.

        If these provisions aren’t in the bill, why are you advocating for this inclusion? You are so dumb you don’t even understand when you contradict yourself.

        In or out of the bill, it is my opinion these can be dealt with on their merits going through the normal appropriations process.

        The other REPUTED parts of the legislation are traditional infrastructure projects and capital expenditures (roads, bridges, airports, etc.) of which I think are legitimate to be included.

  10. Personally, I’m tired of crumbling infrastructure – bad roads in my community, poor internet connection in my home, etc. The infrastructure bill is a way out of this, or at least a step in the right direction.

    1. So, just what part of the Constitution or the Bill of Rights gives the right or authority to prevent you from having bad roads, or from having bad internet connection, let alone the government having to provide and pay for these things? And I suppose you have read the infrastucture bill to know it’s a step in the right direction, so far 2700 pages long? Inquiring minds want to know.

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