Investments planned for roads, bridges, energy systems, broadband and more
President Joe Biden signed a historic $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill into law on Monday.
The legislation includes a broad range of $550 billion of investments over the next five years. These investments are distributed in various areas of America’s infrastructure such as energy systems, roads and broadband, all of which puts climate change mitigation to the forefront.
This bill, which also tackles the nation’s aging bridges, is a direct descendent to President Biden’s American Jobs Plan, which proposed $2.25 trillion in investment.
U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Santa Barbara, attended the bill signing and voiced his support of the new law.
“It was an honor to stand beside my colleagues and the president as he signed the historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law,” said Rep. Carbaja in a news release. “This bill is a once-in-a-generation investment that will propel our economy forward and improve quality of life for every American.”
Marjie Kirn, the executive director of the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments, additionally voiced her support of the bill and excitement for what is to come.
“We are ready for transformative action on a federal level to address the persistent backlog of transportation infrastructure and public transit options for our communities,” said Mrs. Kirn in a news release. “We are encouraged and excited about the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and will work with Congressman Carbajal to take advantage of the opportunities the bill presents for strong federal support on high priority projects in our region like the U.S. 101 Carpinteria-to-Santa Barbara project.”
While senators claim the bill pays for itself, further analysis by the Congressional Budget Office shows the bill will add billions of dollars to the American deficit. However, lawmakers maintain the spending will not be reflected in taxes.
The bill is hailed as a major feat of bipartisanship, according to the president and senators. In fact, 19 Senate Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, voted in support of the bill, and President Biden noted this, saying, “for the Republicans who supported this bill, you showed a lot of courage.”
Rep. Carbajal and many other Democratic representatives see this as a bill with potential to lead to much more.
“Next, we will work to pass the Build Back Better Act, which will create new jobs in the clean energy economy and cut down on the costs of senior care, child care and health care,” Rep. Carbajal said in his statement. “I am thankful to have helped pass these investments, which will make us a better and stronger nation.”