WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today spoke on the Senate floor highlighting the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the bipartisan core infrastructure agreement. The foundation of the agreement is based upon the EPW Committee’s Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act and the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021. Ranking Member Capito, along with EPW Committee Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.) will be managing the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act on the Senate floor.
HISTORIC INVESTEMENT: “We can make a historic investment in our nation’s infrastructure with this bill. It reflects our commitment to keeping Americans safe, improving our global competitiveness, and growing our economy and creating jobs. This legislation gives states both the certainty in funding to plan for big projects and also that flexibility in spending to cater to unique needs.”
SUPPORTING RURAL AREAS AND FUNDING CORRIDOR H: “Rural areas can sometimes struggle when it comes to receiving competitive grants…That is why I am very pleased that the EPW bill creates a new $2 billion rural grant program that will dedicate resources to something very important to me: the Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS) and other critical projects across rural America. We also worked together to provide additional dedicated funding for the ADHS in the broader legislation. So what does that mean for my home state? That means this funding will aid the completion of Corridor H, which is the connector to the eastern and central parts of our state with the metro-D.C. area and opening up more opportunities for economic growth and tourism.”
PROJECT PERMITTING REFORM: “Sometimes the bureaucracy is our own worst enemy when it comes to building our infrastructure. So I prioritized improvements for the project delivery process to help road and bridge projects advance from the planning stage to completion stage much more rapidly. I am excited about the reforms included our EPW bill. Particularly, our bill codifies the One Federal Decision policy, making it easier for project sponsors to work through the federal environmental review process.”
WATER AND WASTEWATER INFRASTUCTURE: “We authorized $35 billion for water projects across the country with a focus on upgrading aging infrastructure. We invest in innovative technologies and provides assistance to rural and low income communities to help them keep their water safe and clean. The bill provides that flexibility so both rural and urban areas can best address their needs…. I am glad that the overall package we are considering represents the largest investment in clean drinking water in our nation’s history.”
CLOSING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE: “It is impossible to compete for new jobs if a community cannot offer good internet service—it’s just a necessity—causing these areas to fall even farther behind. Today education, tourism, and health care all rely high speed internet service. Broadband is core infrastructure. And this legislation recognizes that. The major broadband investment in this legislation will help tremendously close the digital divide in our country.”
WORKING TOGETHER: “The American people elected us to do this tough work. Tough compromises are necessary to develop and pass bipartisan bills. And I believe this legislation is a major positive step.”
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