Local lawmakers react to infrastructure bill vote

NOW: Local lawmakers react to infrastructure bill vote

MISHAWAKA, Ind.--On Thursday, congress passed President Joe Biden's $1.2-trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, after months of thorough deliberations and divisions.  

The final vote for the infrastructure bill was 228 to 206. Thirteen republicans voted with the majority of democrats who voted “yes” in support of the bill, meanwhile six democrats voted against it. Not a single Indiana GOP member was in favor either. President Biden says this win is a “monumental step forward.” 

This bill includes $556-billion dollars in federal investments that will go towards America's infrastructure over the span of 5 years. This money will aim at roads, bridges, mass transit, rail, airports, ports and waterway improvement, along with improving the nation’s broadband network. 

In total, Indiana will allocate around $8.8 billion dollars. $6.6-billion will go towards highways, $401-million will go towards bridges, $680-million for public transit, $751-million for water, and about $410-millon will go towards other infrastructure improvement needs in the state. 

A total of $10.78-billion will go towards Michigan. $7.3-billion will go towards highways, $563-billion will go towards bridges, $1 billion for public transit, $1.3-billion for water, along with $620-million for other infrastructure improvements in the mitten state. This all comes as the city of Benton Harbor struggles with a lead water crisis, where many water bottle distributions are happening weekly to help provide residents safe drinking water for themselves and their families. 

Indiana Representative Jackie Walorski is one of many leaders who were against the bill, saying that it’s “tax and spend scheme,” and is out of touch with the American people. She goes on to say in a statement, “American people deserve far better, and I will continue to stand strong for our individual rights.” 

However, former South Bend mayor, and now Secretary of Transportation in D.C, disagrees. Pete Buttigieg is praising the vote being passed in congress. He says in a video posted on Twitter, that these federal investments are a huge deal for people, and that he can’t wait to get the money out of the door, and invest in projects that improve our nation’s communities. 

In Michigan, Representative Fred Upton did vote for the bill and was one of 13 republicans to break with his party. He says in a Twitter statement, “the bipartisan infrastructure bill is common sense legislation, that will support critical infrastructure projects in Michigan without raising taxes or increasing debt.”  

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, backing the bill as well, saying that the infrastructure bill is a win-win for Michigan because it will create good paying blue-collar jobs, while also fixing roads and bridges across the state. 

The next step is for the bill to be sent over to Biden’s office, and from there, get signed into law. 

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