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House introduces $500 billion infrastructure legislation

By |  June 5, 2020
As the federal government continues to neglect infrastructure, more states have stepped up of late to provide necessary funding for roads and bridges.Photo: iStockphoto.com/Juan-Enrique

According to the U.S. House of Representatives, the $494 billion Invest in America Act will address a range of infrastructure needs. Photo: iStockphoto.com/Juan-Enrique

The U.S. House of Representatives introduced a five-year, $494 billion surface transportation reauthorization proposal.

The legislation, known as the Invest in America Act, is expected to be marked by the House Democratic Transportation & Infrastructure (T&I) Committee on June 17 and, if approved, will be considered on the House floor in July.

According to the House, the Invest in America Act will address a range of infrastructure needs, including roads, bridges and transit systems in need of repair and replacement; designing streets that are safer for all road users, including pedestrians and cyclists; building infrastructure to withstand the impacts of extreme weather and climate change; and more.

“I am proud to bring together the ideas and the needs into one transformational bill that will catapult our country into a new era of how we plan, build and improve U.S. infrastructure,” says Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon), who also serves as chairman of the T&I Committee. “The Invest in America Act is our opportunity to replace the outdated systems of the past with smarter, safer, more resilient infrastructure that fits the economy of the future, creates millions of jobs, supports American manufacturing and restores U.S. competitiveness.”

The current surface transportation authorization, the FAST Act, expires Sept. 30.

Photo:

Johnson

Industry reaction

Michael Johnson, president and CEO of the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association, welcomed the Invest in America Act, as well as its inclusion of the Rocks Act.

“I commend Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio and his team introducing Invest in America Act,” Johnson says. “This is an important step forward.  As we continue to review the bill text, we greatly appreciate the chairman’s inclusion of the Rocks Act. Stone, sand and gravel are essential raw materials found in every road, bridge, transit and public works project. Ensuring communities are able to access these materials is smart policy that will reduce environmental impacts and allows for greater economic development.”

Johnson also discussed the need to invest in the nation’s infrastructure during the 2020 Pit & Quarry Roundtable & Conference.

Meanwhile, Dennis Slater, president of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, called for bipartisan support of the Invest in America Act.

Headshot; Dennis Slater

Slater

“Investing in our nation’s infrastructure benefits all Americans and has enjoyed strong support by members of Congress from both sides of the aisle,” Slater says. “The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s release of its draft surface transportation bill is an important step in the reauthorization process, as were efforts by the U.S. Senate last summer. We strongly encourage the U.S. House to maintain this bipartisan momentum. Republicans and Democrats must agree on legislation that prioritizes American jobs and provides long-term funding for critical infrastructure modernization.”

Brian McGuire, president and CEO of the Associated Equipment Distributors (AED), also strongly called for bipartisan support of the legislation.

“AED urges Congress and the administration to immediately work in a bipartisan manner to complete the surface transportation reauthorization process,” McGuire says. “There should be no more excuses – everyone in Washington knows what needs to be done, and now is the time to rebuild America’s crumbling infrastructure, put people back to work and generate economic growth for years to come.”

Zach Mentz

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