ICYMI: On Senate Floor, Shaheen and Bipartisan Group Unveil Text for Bipartisan Infrastructure Legislation

August 02, 2021

(Washington, DC) – Last night, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a key member of the bipartisan group of Senators who have spent weeks negotiating the bipartisan infrastructure package, joined fellow negotiators on the Senate floor to introduce the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, legislation that would provide a $550 billion investment in our nation’s core infrastructure priorities– including roads and bridges, rail, transit, ports, airports, the electric grid and broadband. In June, Shaheen joined President Biden and a bipartisan group of senators to announce the framework of the package. Shaheen is a key negotiator and led provisions on broadband and water infrastructure.

The legislation would make historic investments in American communities, businesses and the workforce, including:

  • Rebuilding crumbling roads, bridges and tunnels across the nation; 
  • Modernizing water infrastructure and addressing contamination by toxins like PFAS in drinking water supplies; 
  • Expanding access to reliable, high-speed broadband internet; and 
  • Prioritizing sustainable solutions to improve our infrastructure systems and much more. 

Shaheen’s remarks can be viewed here and are available below.

 

Mr. President, I am very proud to be here with the rest of my colleagues to present this bill that will make the biggest investment in infrastructure, as Senator Collins said so well, since the Interstate Highway System back in the 1950s. 

This is really an extraordinary work product that results from the leadership of Senators Sinema and Portman and from the cooperation of everybody on this floor.

There were an equal number of Democrats and Republicans--a number who are not here tonight who have worked on this bill--the work of committee chairs and ranking members in the Senate who have done so much to put together underlying bills that we used in moving this forward and, of course, all of the staff from our personal offices, from the Appropriations Committee, from all of the committees that worked on this bill.

As has been said, this is the biggest investment in infrastructure with $550 billion in new spending over the next 5 years. It builds on annual appropriations. It is an investment in roads and bridges, in water and wastewater, and transit, the electric grid. 

We have got to do this because right now we are investing less than our competitors--less than China, less than India, less than Europe; less than we were spending in the United States in the 1960s. And if we are going to stay competitive, if we are going to provide opportunities for the people in this country, we have got to make these investments.

As my partner in broadband said, if kids are going to have an equal opportunity for the future, then they need to have access to high-speed internet. 

More important, I think, is the point that all of my colleagues so far have made, and that is that this bill shows that Republicans and Democrats can work together to address the needs of this country; that our government is not broken. We can make it work if everybody works together.

So I know we have a lot of work ahead of us to get this bill through the floor of the Senate and then through the House, and get the help out to the American people. But I know that in this Chamber we are committed to getting that done and to making sure that we make these investments to move the country forward.

So thank you, Mr. President.