ICYMI – Rep. Katko: Why I voted for the bipartisan physical infrastructure bill
SYRACUSE, NY— US Representative John Katko (NY-24) wrote the following editorial posted today on Syracuse.com, highlighting the victories for central New York contained in the bipartisan physical infrastructure bill that was passed with its support in the State House of Representatives -United.
Why I voted for the bipartisan physical infrastructure bill
Syracuse.com / The Post-Standard
By Representative John Katko (NY-24)
When I first ran for public office, I made a commitment to the people of central New York State to seize every opportunity to create economic opportunity and make our community a place. stronger for generations to come.
Prioritizing investments in infrastructure was a key part of this promise. The dire state of our infrastructure locally is abundantly clear to families and businesses in central New York City who regularly travel our deteriorating roads, have worried about the quality of their drinking water, or have suffered from unreliable internet access. And without stable funding, our local governments cannot plan for long-term infrastructure investments or repairs.
When I arrived in Washington, I actively sought a position on the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. Since then, I have taken every opportunity to defend infrastructure in the House, including vocally supporting the previous administration’s $ 1 trillion proposal to invest in infrastructure.
For the past four years, I have been co-chair of the Problem-Solving Caucus Infrastructure Working Group and have successfully developed a consensus proposal that served as the basis for the Investment Act and the employment in infrastructure. In August, the Senate passed the measure with the support of 19 Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. And last week this measure was passed in the House with my support.
Let’s be clear: The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act makes significant and long overdue investments in infrastructure in central New York City and is a victory for our entire community. It focuses exclusively on physical infrastructure: our roads and bridges, our water supply systems, our ports and waterways, our broadband and power grid, as well as airports. And the investments it makes are fully paid and will generate long-term economic growth.
Notably for our community, the bill provides for an investment of $ 24 billion to repair and replace roads and bridges in New York State over the next five years. It will contribute to the more than $ 27 million modernization of the Syracuse Hancock International Airport, provide an estimated investment of $ 74 million for CENTRO and provide $ 8 billion in federal grants that could support rapid transit by bus. in Syracuse.
The bill fights the digital divide in underserved communities by providing federal funding to expand broadband and Internet connectivity. It provides historic investments in drinking water systems and supports the US Army Corps of Engineers to help advance pending projects on Lake Ontario.
Passage of this bill represents a historic leap forward for investment in our country’s physical infrastructure.
However, and most importantly, in order to win my vote as our country faces inflationary concerns and a growing national debt, this bill had to include provisions to offset its expenses. I voted “yes” because it met these budgetary criteria. The bill includes a wide range of responsible payments, including the reallocation of unused COVID-19 aid. Besides, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the bill will have a 33% return on investment due to the economic benefits of long-term infrastructure projects. Experts from the American Enterprise Institute have also argued that spending under this legislation would not contribute to inflation, as spending will be spread over a decade and focus on improving long-term productivity.
Although I have supported this measure, I am deeply concerned about the current agenda proposed by Democrats in Washington. The multi-trillion dollar Build Back Better Act from House Democrats, which I vehemently oppose, raise taxes, implement Green New Deal policies, make our economy less competitive, and exacerbate the soaring inflation that is already hitting families in central New York.
With the passage of the historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, I am proud to have kept my promise to central New Yorkers, and now I will continue to work to oppose the reckless spending bill. House Democrats.