Biden signs infrastructure bill surrounded by 800 including rural leaders
President Biden on Monday signed H.R. 3684, the “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act,” which the White House noted “reauthorizes surface transportation programs for five years, through fiscal year 2026, and provides for a one-time transfer of funds from the General Fund into the Highway Trust Fund; authorizes programs for water, energy, and broadband infrastructure; and provides emergency supplemental appropriations.”
Biden pointed out that the bill was passed by bipartisan majorities in both the Senate and the House, but also took the opportunity to point out that it fulfilled his campaign promises.
“We can do this. We can deliver real results for real people. We see in ways that really matter each and every day, to each person out there. And we’re taking a monumental step forward to build back better as a nation.”
Biden thanked the AFL-CIO, the United Auto Workers and other industrial trade unions and then noted that his wife, Jill Biden, is a member of the National Education Association.
Vice President Harris said, “This is an historic day. In the middle of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln started construction on the transcontinental railroad. In the middle of the Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt finished construction on the Hoover Dam.”
“President Dwight Eisenhower signed the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act in the middle of the Cold War. And today — and today, President Joe Biden will sign the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law. ”
Harris added, “And here is what I know to be true, Mr. President: You are equal parts believer and builder. And because you are, we are all better off. On behalf of our nation: Thank you, Mr. President.
“The work of building a more perfect union did not end with the railroad or the interstate, and it will not end now. So, on this historic day, let us all continue to believe in our people, believe in our country, and believe in what we can do when we work together,” Harris said.
The White House noted that a long list of Cabinet officials, congressional leaders, labor, business and rural leaders were present for the bill signing.
Rep. Jim Costa, D-Calif., a high-ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee who attended the signing, said, “Today marks a new beginning for our nation. This transformative bill secures millions for San Joaquin Valley water systems, roads, ports, broadband, public transit, and high-speed rail — critical investments that will improve our quality of life and safeguard our economy.”
“We no longer have to live off the investments of our grandparents. These investments will make a difference in every community in the Valley.”
The White House noted to reporters that the attendees sharing the stage with Biden included National Farmers Union President Rob Larew and NTCA-National Rural Broadband Association CEO Shirley Bloomfield.
In a news release, Larew said, “Today is a great day for American agriculture. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will provide a much-needed boost to our rural economy and will help keep family farmers, ranchers, and our communities linked and connected with the rest of the country.
“We thank President Biden for his strong leadership in passing this legislation, and offer special thanks to the Congressional leaders who crafted and negotiated the bill.”
United Fresh Produce Association President & CEO Tom Stenzel also attended the White House ceremony and said, “United Fresh has worked with the administration and bipartisan congressional leaders to pass a comprehensive infrastructure bill.”
“The new law will provide critical improvements to support the fresh produce supply chain, including roads, bridges, ports and vitally needed western state water infrastructure investment,” Stenzel said.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the administration and Congress to ensure consumers have access to our safe, healthy and nutritious products. This law is a strong step in the right direction.”
Todd Van Hoose, the CEO of the Farm Credit Council, told the National Industrial Hemp Council on Monday morning that he would be in attendance.
A bipartisan coalition of senators who supported the bill — Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., Bill Cassidy, R-La., Susan Collins, R-Maine, Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Mitt Romney, R-Utah, Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Mark Warner, D-Va.— issued a statement that said the bill “the represents the largest investment in infrastructure in our nation’s history.”
“Today’s signing of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a victory for all Americans,” the statement said.
“When Congress puts America’s needs over politics, we make genuine progress. We were proud to work together on this historic investment in our nation’s core infrastructure to modernize roads and bridges, strengthen rail and transit systems, upgrade ports, expand broadband access, improve water systems, and increase the resiliency of the nation’s energy grid. It strengthens our economy without raising taxes or increasing inflation. This legislation will positively impact every American.”
The White House has promised that the public selling of infrastructure will not stop after Biden visits a crumbling bridge in New Hampshire on Tuesday and an electric car plant in Detroit on Wednesday, National Journal reported.
–The Hagstrom Report
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