“Invest in America Act"-- how it will improve safety and traffic for agriculture

While lawmakers grapple over the infrastructure bill, they are also tackling the surface transportation bill. Here is how it will improve safety and traffic for U.S. ag.

The House votes to pass the “Invest in America Act,” with $715 billion dollars for transportation and water infrastructure.

Peter DeFazio, Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure says that the legislation will help both urban and rural America.

“We have to do these things for the American people to get them out of congestion, so that they don’t have to get car repairs because of potholes, we have to do it for American business so their trucks aren’t sitting in traffic costing them money and avoiding ‘just in time’ delivery, we have to do this for international competitiveness. This is the moment,” according to Rep. DeFazio.

The legislation includes $343 billion dollars for roads, bridges, and safety investments, and would push states to consider alternative transit options instead of building more lanes for traffic.

“We built 25,000 miles of highways... No, 35,000, sorry, in our largest cities in the last 20 years, and guess what, congestion is six times worse,” DeFazio states. “That is not the solution, so we’re going to make states look at alternatives, rail, transit, micro-transit, all the other things that can work.”

He says that bridge repairs will also be a priority with a new “Rebuild Rural Bridges” program: “47,000 bridges in this country on the national highway system are in need of substantial repair or replacement. We have a massive new bridge program here; we also have one targeted to some of the most economically significant bridges in America.”

Energy and Commerce Committee Chair, Frank Pallone says that the Invest Act will also work to upgrade water infrastructure, especially for the more than 9,000,000 American homes that still get water through lead pipes.

“This very much goes along with President Biden’s plan, its $105 billion dollars, about half of that goes to replace the lead pipes across the country which is what President Biden has been talking about. The other half is for augmenting the Safe Drinking Water Revolving Fund that goes to the states, and then we have $5 billion dollars to address PFAS contamination,” Rep. Pallone explains.

The Invest Act is a five-year funding reauthorization that also includes an extension of the current highway and safety programs.


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