VIDEO RELEASE: On Senate Floor, Shaheen Urges Support for Bipartisan Infrastructure Legislation
(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a key member of the bipartisan group of Senators that spent months negotiating the bipartisan infrastructure package, delivered remarks on the Senate floor in support of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
This landmark legislation 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. On Sunday, Shaheen joined members of the bipartisan group on the Senate floor to unveil bill text of the legislation. Shaheen is a key negotiator and led provisions on broadband and water infrastructure, which she highlighted during her floor remarks this afternoon.
Underscoring the historic commitment the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act makes to our water infrastructure, Shaheen said, “No parent should worry about the safety of their family’s water when they turn on the tap, but unfortunately, as most of us know, this is not the case for too many Americans because compromised water supplies, due in part to our run-down water infrastructure, is an issue across this country and in some places in New Hampshire. This was a problem for decades before the pandemic hit, but looking at a crisis like COVID-19 has illustrated just how basic and essential clean and safe drinking water is for our communities. Righting this wrong starts with investing in our water systems which have been severely underfunded for too long,” She continued, “And in addition to putting significant funding toward that effort, the bipartisan infrastructure package before us includes $15 billion to replace lead service lines, which is a huge public health priority and it's an issue that's long plagued communities across this country. Another real public health concern that's addressed in this bill is the presence of per and polyfluroalkyl substances – or PFAS – in our water supplies. Preventing exposure, cleaning up contaminated sites and understanding the full scope of the health implications associated with these chemicals is critical for so many affected by PFAS in their water… we owe it to them, to all of those families affected by PFAS and contaminated water supplies, a serious commitment to stop this problem where it starts and to give them the peace of mind that they so deserve. The comprehensive measures to address our water infrastructure that are contained in this historic bill will help do just that.”
Also a lead negotiator on broadband, Shaheen explained how critical it is to close the digital divide, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, which exacerbated this issues as Americans relied on access to internet more than ever before. Shaheen said, “The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, just as they highlighted the challenge of not having enough access to clean water, highlighted just how important it is for our communities to have fast and reliable access to the internet. Whether we like it or not, we live in a digital world. We all relied on that digital world more than ever during the COVID crisis so that our kids could go to school, so our grandparents and families could keep their medical appointments, so our businesses could stay afloat… this infrastructure bill commits $65 billion dollars to bring high-speed internet to communities in New Hampshire and across the country.”
Shaheen concluded, “…these bold investments are what’s needed to create jobs, enhance the safety of our infrastructure networks and improve this nation’s competitiveness. Now, had I written the bill before us on my own… it would have included additional priorities then what’s before us… but that’s not how compromise works – you give and you get. And the fact is, New Hampshire and the United States are going to get a whole lot in this infrastructure package.”
Shaheen’s full remarks can be viewed here.