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.