|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 10, 2021
Contact: Kirstin Snow, email@example.com
STATEMENT: INFRASTRUCTURE BILL PASSED WITH BIPARTISAN SUPPORT IN THE U.S. SENATE MAKES LONG-OVERDUE INVESTMENTS, BUT MORE MUST BE DONE TO ADVANCE A ROBUST AND EQUITABLE RECOVERY
Build Back Better reconciliation bill must be enacted to deliver good-paying jobs, affordable housing and childcare, and bold investments in education and health care
by Jeff Garis, Director, PA Budget and Policy Center’s 99% PA Campaign
HARRISBURG, PA – Today, in a 69-30 vote, the U.S. Senate passed the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which makes important and long-overdue investments in transportation, public transit, clean drinking water, and high-speed internet that will create good-paying union jobs across Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (PBPC) commends President Joe Biden, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, and the bipartisan working group of senators for their diligence in negotiating, drafting, and advancing the legislation to the House of Representatives, and we thank Senator Bob Casey for voting in favor of the bill.
The legislation provides $550 billion in new federal funding for infrastructure over five years, including a $21 billion investment in cleaning up abandoned wells and mines and Superfund sites, exceeding what was initially proposed by the president. Our state’s history of energy extraction and heavy manufacturing has left Pennsylvania in need of transformational remediation, and this investment will create a healthier environment and deliver good-paying union jobs to Pennsylvania workers.
While there is much to praise about the legislation and the bipartisan process that created it, most of President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda was left out of the bill, including crucial investments in education, childcare, housing, home care, manufacturing, and innovation. PBPC strongly urges the Senate to move quickly on a budget resolution that includes these once-in-a-generation investments in American jobs and families.
The legislation that the Senate passed this morning, unfortunately, allocates $9 billion less for public transit than what was included in the bipartisan deal when it was initially announced earlier this summer. This significant reduction in transit funding was demanded by Senator Pat Toomey, who — despite his success in pressuring negotiators to make the cut — voted against the bill. The impact of this substantially reduced funding for public transit will fall disproportionally on urban communities, particularly affecting low-income Pennsylvanians and people of color.
PBPC encourages every member of our state’s delegation to the U.S. House to support the bipartisan infrastructure legislation and pass this long-overdue investment in our essential systems and networks, family-sustaining jobs, and a cleaner environment for future generations.
The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center is a nonpartisan policy research project that provides independent, credible analysis on state tax, budget, and related policy matters, with attention to the impact of current or proposed policies on working families.