Today, the 30,000 members of the American Public Works Association (APWA) are very encouraged by bipartisan legislation, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, set to be considered and voted on in the coming days in the U.S. Senate. Over recent weeks, a bipartisan group of Senators have been working in conjunction with President Biden on the framework for the bill. Included in the legislation are several public works priorities supported by APWA’s Public Policy Priorities for the 117th Congress.
“With passage of this bill, Senators are demonstrating leadership and standing strong for a broad and robust federal investment in our nation’s roads and bridges, water infrastructure, broadband, cybersecurity, public transit, ports, rail, airports, environmental clean-up, and the electric grid. APWA has been persistently advocating for a surface transportation reauthorization bill and for increased federal investment in our nation’s critical infrastructure,” said APWA President Mary Joyce Ivers. “Public works professionals across the country are committed to planning, designing, building, operating, maintaining, and protecting our critical infrastructure in communities of all sizes, serving all people, every single day.”
With the House passage last month of the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation (INVEST) in America Act, and should the Senate pass its bill, APWA is calling for a regular and bipartisan process allowing for conference between the two chambers where a final bill can be completed by all parties and sent to President Biden for his signature. APWA supports efforts by this Congress specifically to reauthorize critical surface transportation programs before they expire on September 30, 2021 with the association’s priorities focused on funding, safety, and streamlining. In addition to transportation investment that supports building and retrofitting roads and bridges and increasing safety for all transportation system users, while addressing cybersecurity and data protection, that a next generation infrastructure bill lead the country to a cleaner and healthier future.
It is important to note the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is seeking broad and hearty investment not only in transportation, but also water infrastructure, and building upon progress made over the past two administrations on reforming and improving the federal permitting process, while continuing to demonstrate strong support for our public works first responders on the frontlines protecting public health, and responding to the changing and future needs of our critical infrastructure.
“APWA believes in the need for consistent, substantial, and long term investment in our country’s infrastructure, and the Senate approach shows a bipartisan commitment of $550 billion in new federal spending over 5 years which will go a long way towards generational improvements and investments, while recognizing the need for local decision making by those who know their communities best,” said APWA CEO Scott D. Grayson, CAE. ”As an association and an industry, the men and women of public works stand ready to continue our work with all members of the House and Senate, and the Biden administration to pass, and then successfully implement a bipartisan infrastructure law.”