The U.S. Senate passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act on a broad bipartisan vote of 69-30. This historic bill includes many of President Joe Biden’s economic priorities, including record investments in minority-owned businesses, broadband infrastructure, expanded funding to track and address climate change, while also including the largest-ever federal investments in roads and bridges, clean drinking water and more.
After the Senate passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo released the following statement:
“I am deeply thankful for the unwavering commitment of the Republican and Democratic Senators who led the process to get this done. Throughout the entire process, President Biden showed incredible leadership keeping these talks together and encouraging all of us to remain committed to this bipartisan approach. Passing a bipartisan infrastructure bill sends a message to nations around the world about the strength of our democracy and what we can accomplish together for the benefit of all Americans. The investments in this bill will better position the United States to compete globally, strengthen our supply chains, and create millions of good-paying jobs – all while making our economy more resilient and just.
“The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act represents a historic investment in our country that will strengthen our economy to benefit all Americans for decades to come. This is a generational achievement that both parties can be proud of, and there is still more to do as we carry out President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda. Broad support exists to make needed investments in the Care Economy to provide access to affordable, quality care services as well as reinvigorating workforce training to ensure our workers are prepared for the jobs of the 21st century. I look forward to continued engagement with Congress to make progress on these critical challenges.”
Among the historic investments included in the bill is more than $48 billion in funding for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to fund state and local investments to help reach 100% access to affordable, high-speed broadband service. This is among the most significant government investment in broadband access and infrastructure in American history, and is a critical component of President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda.
The bill will also make permanent the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), enhancing its ability to promote and administer its flagship programs to promote the growth, development, and resiliency of minority-owned businesses. As the only federal agency dedicated solely to economic development for minority businesses, the move to permanently authorize MBDA is essential to ensuring the economic recovery reaches all of America’s communities.
Finally, the legislation makes major investments to tackle climate change, increase infrastructure resiliency, and restore and improve coastal habitats by providing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) with approximately $3 billion in funding for climate science and services.
Source: US Department of Commerce