Legislation to increase investment in America’s crumbling infrastructure has passed the U.S. Senate. Frequently referred to as the “bipartisan infrastructure bill,” the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act includes $550 billion in new spending over the next five years. In total, the bill appropriates $1.2 trillion in federal spending on infrastructure projects throughout the country.
The Kentucky Chamber and U.S. Chamber of Commerce, along with numerous other business organizations, strongly supported passage of this legislation by the Senate. The bill includes more than $100 billion for roads, highways, and bridges as well as key investments in broadband, public transit, airports, ports and waterways, and more. The Kentucky Chamber advocated for these investments to be made without increasing taxes on businesses and applauds Senators from both sides of the aisles for working together on this important bill, including Senator Mitch McConnell who voted in support this afternoon. Senator Rand Paul voted against the bill.
“Infrastructure investment is badly needed in the Commonwealth and will drive economic growth throughout our state,” said Kentucky Chamber President and CEO Ashli Watts. “The business community greatly appreciates Leader McConnell’s vote in support of this important Chamber priority in the Senate this afternoon. We look forward to working with Kentucky’s delegation in the House to get this bill to the White House.”
As highlighted by Senator McConnell’s office, the infrastructure package includes several key investments in Kentucky. The Commonwealth would receive $4.6 billion over the next five years for infrastructure projects and would have new opportunities to secure funding for critical projects like the Brent Spence Bridge in Northern Kentucky and the I-69 bridge in Henderson. Kentucky would also receive funds for public transportation, airports, brownfield remediation and land reclamation, broadband, abandoned oil and gas wells, dam safety, drinking water, and more.
“I was proud to support today’s historic bipartisan infrastructure deal and prove that both sides of the political aisle can still come together around commonsense solutions. By promoting sensible, collaborative legislation, we have shown that the Senate still works as an institution. This is an important achievement for Kentucky and the American people,” said Senator McConnell in a press release this afternoon.
Kentucky’s business community has long supported investments in hard infrastructure like roads, highways, and bridges. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave Kentucky’s roads a D+ and its bridges a C- in its most recent “Infrastructure Report Card.” The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has stated that Kentucky’s roads and bridges have a $2 billion maintenance backlog. To protect Kentucky’s status as a world-class logistics hub and grow jobs, the Kentucky Chamber has urged lawmakers in Frankfort and D.C. to increase investment in infrastructure.
The legislation passed by the U.S. Senate will need approval by the House of Representatives before heading to President Biden.