Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) issued the following statement on the passage of a historic $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill by the U.S. Senate:
“The bipartisan infrastructure bill passed by the Senate today is not a perfect bill—it is a necessary compromise required by the Senate’s 60-vote threshold. I have strongly argued that the Senate should abolish the filibuster to advance bold, progressive priorities, in consultation with the House of Representatives. I believe this approach would have allowed us to pass critical bills like the House-passed INVEST in America Act, which included larger investments in electric vehicle infrastructure, more transit funding and community project funding that would have deliver millions of dollars to the 47th District that I represent. Compromise is never perfect, and it is never easy: we have worked in Congress for years to reach a bipartisan agreement on infrastructure but have not been able to succeed until now.
“We must not delay investment in roads, bridges, or the freight infrastructure which forms the backbone of our economy—especially in the 47th District. The bill will improve the movement of goods, and invest in our ports, helping to make our economy more efficient and productive. Under this legislation the Department of Transportation will rightly place more emphasis on environmental and equity impacts of freight movement, which will help the economy and health of our community.
“The bill contains critical investments in our electrical grid, climate resiliency, and in electric vehicle infrastructure which have the potential to be transformative, including $2.5 billion to build electric, hydrogen or other lower emission vehicle infrastructure which will meaningfully reduce carbon emissions.
“It also includes a new $250 million grant program to reduce truck idling at ports which will go even further in decreasing harmful emissions here in Long Beach and San Pedro. The bill will also provide billions of dollars to protect the electrical grid against wildfires and other natural disasters, another critical priority for California.
“It includes meaningful increases in transit funding—including a total of roughly $9.5 billion for California, in addition to competitive grant funding which the state can secure.
“The bill also invests billions to improve access to broadband, closing the digital divide which has been such a serious obstacle to families throughout the pandemic, and it will invest billions in clean water infrastructure.
“No compromise is perfect, but this bill is a step in the right direction.
“I am also looking forward to advancing Senator Bernie Sanders’ historic budget framework, which will pave the way for trillions of dollars to invest in our families and care infrastructure, and to send further resources to combat climate change. Together, the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the upcoming and massive $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill, if both pass, will provide us a rare opportunity to move our country forward.”