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House passes historic infrastructure bill in late-night vote

By |  November 6, 2021
Photo:

The House passed the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act with 13 Republican votes. Six House Democrats voted against the bill. Photo: P&Q Staff

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act late Friday night, paving the way for President Biden to sign the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill into law.

The House passed the measure by a 228-206 vote. The Senate passed it in August by a 69-30 margin.

Michael Johnson, president and CEO of the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA), was among the first in the industry to praise the House’s action.

“This is a monumental moment for our industry, and it has been greatly needed for quite some time,” Johnson says. “NSSGA appreciates the House of Representatives for passing this bill ahead of the next short-term extension deadline.”

Stephen Sandherr, CEO of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), also offered reaction to the bill’s passage.

“Because of [Friday’s] vote, state and local officials will be able to invest in a more efficient supply chain network,” Sandherr says. “They will also be able to improve roads and bridges to make them safer and more reliable. Metro areas will be able to better maintain and expand transit systems. And water authorities will be able to further safeguard the quality of local drinking water, among other improvements funded by this bill. The measure also provides needed investments to make infrastructure more resilient to extreme weather events.”

Additional details

The House passage happened after Congress’ lower chamber put off two anticipated votes of the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act.

Progressive Democrats previously sought to tie the infrastructure bill to the Build Back Better Act, a significantly larger social spending bill. But coming in the aftermath of Tuesday’s elections, only six House Democrats voted against infrastructure. Thirteen House Republicans voted for it.

Still, a vote on the Build Back Better Act is expected later this month after the House passed a rule allowing for one. In a Friday statement, President Biden said he expected the House to pass the Build Back Better Act during the week of Nov. 15.

“The reason the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed in the House [Friday] is because a majority of representatives understand that this measure will provide significant, tangible improvements to the lives of the constituents and the success of their local employers,” Sandherr says. “That is because the bill provides the kind of funding needed to modernize the country’s aging and overburdened infrastructure. The legislation also maintains the policy of One Federal Decision, cutting the amount of time needed for federal reviews of infrastructure projects.”

The infrastructure bill will reportedly inject $550 billion in new spending for surface transportation infrastructure, including $110 billion for roads, bridges and other major projects.

“The passage of this landmark legislation is something our nation has needed to move our infrastructure network into the 21st century, and the aggregates industry is ready to meet the demands,” Johnson says. “We look forward to working with Congress and the administration on implementing the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act. Our members are prepared to advance the countless number of projects in local communities around the U.S.”

Kevin Yanik

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is the editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry magazine. Yanik can be reached at 216-706-3724 or kyanik@northcoastmedia.net.

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