U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-8) joined House Democrats in voting for a nearly $60 billion portion of the reconciliation budget bill as part of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“From tackling climate change, to addressing racial and environmental injustices, to building back better after the COVID-19 pandemic, our nation faces big challenges. By advancing this legislation, we’re taking a key step forward in addressing those challenges,” Committee Chair Peter DeFazio (D-OR) said.
“With this legislation, we can reduce carbon pollution from the transportation sector that’s driving the climate crisis and make communities more resilient to extreme weather events; connect people with good-paying jobs and affordable housing … provide more people access to clean water; and make our aviation and maritime sectors greener. I look forward to seeing Congress pass this once-in-a-generation legislation because we can’t afford to squander this opportunity.”
The bill, which was approved 37-29 along party lines, would allocate $10 billion for grants to develop high-speed rail routes, $9.5 billion for the Economic Development Administration to provide investments in persistently distressed communities, $6 billion to advance local surface transportation projects, $4 billion towards the reduction of carbon pollution, among many other investments.
“With this reconciliation bill, we have a chance to make huge, meaningful investments in our communities, from highway and rail safety to clean drinking water,” Sires said in his own statement.
“I’m proud to vote in favor of this bill in committee and will continue working with my colleagues in the House of Representatives to ensure that it is passed.”
Republicans such as U.S. Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) argued against the transit and high-speed rail funding since it was duplicative of other budget matters.
“President Biden had stated that he didn’t want to duplicate anything and he wanted this to be clean. This duplicative program violates the agreement, again, relitigating matters in the bipartisan infrastructure bill,” as the Iowa Capital Dispatch reported.
The measure has now been submitted to the Budget Committee and from there, portions of the reconciliation bill approved by several committees are packaged together and sent to the House floor for a full vote.