On Friday, President Biden achieved a much needed policy win when the U.S.House passed a $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. On Saturday, morning during a press conference, Biden hailed the infrastructure “once-in-a-generation investment” which would boost America’s “economic competition of the 21st century.”
“We did something that’s long overdue, that long has been talked about in Washington but never actually been done,” Biden said. “The American people have made clear one overwhelming thing, I think,” Biden said. “They want us to deliver. Last night, we proved we can — on one big item, we delivered,”
Many others are now also hailing the infrastructure bill’s passage after months deadlocked debates and congressional gridlock.
New York’s Riders Alliance Policy & Communications Director Danny Pearlstein said:
“Thanks to the tireless efforts of Senator Schumer and our Congressional delegation, the bipartisan infrastructure deal includes more than $10 billion to fix the subway and expand train service in areas like East Harlem and the East Bronx.
“Once President Biden signs the bill, riders will look to Governor Hochul to stop MTA service cuts that, while lengthening millions of commutes, could prevent New York from accessing badly needed federal infrastructure dollars.
“Meanwhile, we eagerly await passage of the Build Back Better Act, with its $10 billion to improve access to transit in low-income communities, which would mark a historic advance toward transportation equity.”
Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) issued the following statement:
“Today, House Democrats are building back better for the American people. The long-overdue investments in our nation’s infrastructure included in the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will grow the economy, strengthen our global competitiveness, create good-paying union jobs that can’t be sent overseas, and make our communities more resilient, livable, and equitable. In particular, this bipartisan infrastructure bill will make badly-needed improvements to our rail systems, bridges and highways, transit, water, and broadband infrastructure, as well as our ports and airports—investments I have championed for years, both in the minority and majority, and under Republican and Democratic administrations.
“Furthermore, this bill will help ensure our infrastructure can face our most pressing challenges, including an important down payment on addressing the climate crisis head on by reducing carbon pollution from the transportation sector, as well as upgrading our port infrastructure to help alleviate the current supply chain crisis.
“I’m excited to see the president sign this landmark bill into law. The American people expected results—this week, House Democrats delivered a key piece of the Build Back Better agenda, but we’re not done yet. The House must now pass the Build Back Better Act and send it to the Senate.”
Congressman Jimmy Gomez (CA-34) issued the following statement:
“For months, my Democratic colleagues in the House have worked to deliver on the President’s promise of a cleaner, more resilient, more equitable future for working families in Los Angeles and across the country. I have been clear in stating my belief that to do this, we need to pass both the Build Back Better Act and the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
“Tonight, I voted to advance the Build Back Better Act, and to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill. At this moment, we are so close to delivering transformational change in this country. We cannot stop now. We voted in good faith tonight, under an agreement secured by the Congressional Progressive Caucus to bring the Build Back Better Act to a vote no later than the week of November 15th. I intend to hold my moderate colleagues to their word—to bring this bill to a vote in its current form. We must pass the President’s entire agenda, for our people, for our climate, and for our future.”
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement:
“This bill is a triumph for working people, the economy and the nation. It will better the life of each and every American and stands as a breakthrough after years of talk and bluster about infrastructure, but precious little action.
“Today, that changed: it shows what we can achieve when we bridge divides and work together to find solutions for the American people. This bill will get lead out of water and repair leaky tunnels. It will pipe broadband into millions of homes that sorely need it. And it’s going to restore our crumbling roads and create millions of new jobs.
“Both progressive and moderates worked constructively with the speaker and the president to find a way to make this a reality. Now, we have the wind at our backs—we are dealing with COVID, adding jobs, and have a second page of history about to be written: child and elder care, pre-K, and climate action in the Build Back Better Act. Let’s celebrate tonight’s vote and continue to deliver for the American people who’ve been through so much and yearn to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”