Shaheen Statement on Bipartisan Meeting with President Biden on Investing in InfrastructureApril 19, 2021
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued the following statement after participating in an Oval Office meeting on infrastructure with President Biden and a bipartisan group of lawmakers in Congress who previously served as governors or mayors. Senator Shaheen served three terms as Governor of New Hampshire.
“I appreciated the opportunity to meet with President Biden and underscore the important infrastructure needs in New Hampshire, which I know are shared in communities throughout the nation. Repairing our roads, rails, bridges and ports have long been bipartisan priorities and I’m glad that he is working to bring Democrats and Republicans together to drive action on this front,” said Shaheen. “As a former Governor, I’ve worked to bring that experience as a state executive to the Senate to not only best respond to the issues on the ground, but to also bridge the partisan divide. The majority of my time as Governor of New Hampshire was spent working with a Republican state legislature and that required meaningful conversations and compromise. We can and should find a path forward in Congress that allows us to deliver on our shared goal: to create good-paying jobs by prioritizing local projects that will make our communities safer, from addressing our water infrastructure to fixing our bridges and ensuring every family has access to high-speed internet. There is a bipartisan urgency to confront these problems to ensure we are building a 21st century economy in New Hampshire and throughout the nation. There is common ground in Congress on these infrastructure priorities – we can and should get this done.”
Senator Shaheen has long fought to bring federal dollars back to New Hampshire to invest in critical transportation and infrastructure projects to fix Granite State roads, rail, bridges and ports. In 2019, Shaheen reintroduced legislation, the Strengthen and Fortify Existing (SAFE) Bridges Act to begin to address the more than 47,000 structurally deficient bridges across the country. Shaheen also introduced legislation that would create a national infrastructure initiative to fund innovative projects that promote energy efficiency while meeting significant transportation needs. A senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Shaheen has historically secured federal funding for the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Grant program – formerly known as the TIGER Grant program. In Fiscal Year 2021 government funding legislation, Shaheen helped secure funding for the BUILD Grant program, totaling $1 billion.
Shaheen has also spearheaded efforts to address critical water infrastructure needs in New Hampshire and across the nation. In February, Shaheen reintroduced bipartisan legislation with Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) to provide rural communities under economic strain during the COVID-19 pandemic with emergency assistance to repair, modernize and renovate failing water infrastructure. The Emergency Assistance for Rural Water Systems Act would provide $1 billion in emergency grants, low- and zero-interest loans and loan forgiveness for struggling small and rural water and wastewater systems across the nation. A leader in Congress on addressing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination, Shaheen recently joined a bipartisan group of Senators in urging Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to allow state, tribal, and local governments to use funds allocated through the American Rescue Plan to address contamination from PFAS, including in local water supplies. She has also led legislation that would provide billions in substantial federal funding for PFAS remediation in drinking water and groundwater, including private wells.
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