[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) released the following statement after voting in support of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which includes $550 billion in new federal funding to rebuild roads and bridges; repair rail networks; support public transportation; invest in broadband; improve auto safety; combat the climate crisis; and create millions of new jobs.
“This historic bill is a really, spectacularly big deal – transformative for Connecticut’s future. We cannot compete in the global economy when our roads are riddled with potholes, our rail networks desperately need modernization, and our families lack connection to the internet,” Blumenthal said. “For the last few years, it’s become a joke how frequently we celebrated ‘Infrastructure Week’ and how infrequently anything on infrastructure actually got done. That changes now. Today’s strong, bipartisan vote is just the beginning – I am going to continue fighting for more investments necessary to meet our nation’s challenges. Our next package must focus on our human assets – cutting costs of prescription drugs, expanding job training, making free dental, vision, and hearing care available to all seniors, fighting climate change, reducing taxes, and making corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share.”
In Connecticut, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will:
Rebuild Roads and Bridges: Connecticut is home to 248 bridges and more than 2,100 miles of highway that are in poor condition. In the last decade, commute times in the state have increased by more than 10 percent, and the average driver spends more than $700 per year in maintenance and other costs as a result of driving on crumbling roads.
Over the next five years, Connecticut is expected to receive $3.5 billion for highway programs and $561 million for bridge replacement and repairs. Connecticut will also be eligible to compete for a portion of the $12.5 billion Bridge Investment Program and the $16 billion set aside by the legislation for major projects that will deliver substantial economic benefits to communities.
Repair Rail: This legislation includes $66 billion in new funding for rail, including $30 billion for the Northeast Corridor. Blumenthal and U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Cory Booker (D-NJ) led a push for additional passenger rail funding – filing an amendment that would increase support for the Northeast Corridor by $30 billion – and have pledged to continue fighting for additional support for the country’s busiest rail line.
Support Public Transit: Over the next five years, Connecticut is expected to receive at least $1.3 billion to improve public transportation options across the state.
Invest in Broadband: In Connecticut, 12 percent of households do not have an internet subscription. Connecticut will receive at least $100 million to help provide broadband coverage across the state. Under this legislation, 654,000 people in Connecticut will also be eligible for the Affordability Connectivity Benefit, which was created to help low-income families afford internet access.
Build Electric Vehicle Infrastructure: Over the next five years, Connecticut is expected to receive $53 million in funding to expand EV charging stations across the state. Connecticut will also be eligible to compete for a portion of the $2.5 billion in grant funding for EV infrastructure.
Protect the Long Island Sound: This legislation includes $106 million for the Long Island Sound Geographic Program to fund critical local projects focused on improving water quality and restoring shoreline habitats throughout the Sound’s watershed.
Improve Auto Safety: The bill approved by the Senate today includes several Blumenthal-authored provisions to improve auto safety. Language based on Blumenthal’s SCOPE Act would help prevent keyless carbon monoxide poisonings; language based on Blumenthal’s HOT CARS Act would protect against children’s deaths in hot cars; and language based on Blumenthal’s PARK IT Act would study keyless ignition rollaways.