New Hampshire to get over $2B from federal infrastructure plan

By Christian Wade | The Center Square

New Hampshire stands to get a windfall of federal funding to help fix crumbling highways and bridges, improve public transit and expand broadband access.

On Saturday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill in a 228-206 vote, sending it to President Joe Biden for his signature.

New Hampshire stands to get more than $2.05 billion from the spending bill over the next five years, including at least $1.1 billion for highway upgrades and $225 million for bridge repairs, according to a breakdown provided by the White House.

The state will also receive at least $418 million to improve water and sewer infrastructure and at least $100 million to help provide broadband coverage.

Rep. Chris Pappas, D-N.H., said the plan “represents an historic investment in our infrastructure that will address critical needs and create millions of jobs across the country.”

“Investments in our roads and bridges, water systems, and broadband are critical to our future economic growth and way of life in New Hampshire, and they will help us continue to rebuild our economy and regain our competitiveness following the COVID-19 pandemic,” Pappas said in a statement.

“These are not Democratic or Republican priorities, they are bipartisan, common-sense solutions of local and national significance,” he added.

A fact sheet released by the White House ahead of the bill’s passage laid out the state’s vast infrastructure needs.

Topping the list are New Hampshire’s aging roads and bridges, many of which are in disrepair, according to the White House. The Biden administration said there are at least 250 bridges and nearly 700 miles of highway in poor condition.

The White House statement pointed out that commuting times in New Hampshire have increased by 5.9% annually. The average New Hampshire driver spends $476 a year in auto repair costs, according to the statement.

“For decades, infrastructure in New Hampshire has suffered from a systemic lack of investment,” the statement reads. “The need for action is clear.”

Passage of the infrastructure bill caps months of debate on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers have failed for years to pass a major legislation to upgrade transportation, water and sewer upgrades and other critical infrastructure needs.

The bill passed with bipartisan support with 13 Republicans supporting it and six Democrats voting against it.

“The historic nature of this bipartisan infrastructure deal cannot be overstated,” Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., said in a statement. “This is the largest investment in public transit; the largest investment in drinking water and wastewater infrastructure; the largest investment in clean energy and the largest investment in our bridges since the construction of the interstate highway system.”

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/formulanone

2 thoughts on “New Hampshire to get over $2B from federal infrastructure plan

  1. Anyone remember how those Obama Shovel Ready jobs went?
    Yeah I know, this time it will be different..

    • Here is the Penn Wharton estimate of the cost of the infrastructure bill

      Google: Updated Bipartisan Senate Infrastructure Deal: Budgetary and Economic Effects

      HALF PAID FOR, i.e., about $250 BILLION gets added to US National Debt.

      Both Democratic and Republican senators who negotiated a bipartisan infrastructure bill have claimed the legislation is “paid for.” But a budget watchdog group says the bill only pays for about half of the $548 billion in new spending.

      The crux of the disagreement is that the senators count savings from COVID-19 relief programs that didn’t end up costing as much as expected.

      A roadworks crew resurfaces a road on June 24 in Alhambra, California. Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images.

      “The framework claims $491 billion of offsets, and an additional $56 billion of savings from dynamic scoring, to pay for the bill,” the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget writes in a post on its website. “However, many of these pay-fors count savings that have already occurred. We estimate actual offsets will total roughly $200 billion before dynamic scoring.”

      Dynamic scoring factors in the impact of economic effects.

      Penn Wharton Budget Model Senior Economist Jon Huntley told us whether or not the legislation covers the cost of the new spending “depends on how you define ‘paid for.’”

      “Some of the funds that they’re using would be going back to the U.S. Treasury,” meaning the savings from other legislation would return to the federal government. Since the money would normally go back to the Treasury, it would end up reducing the debt. But if those dollars are applied to the infrastructure bill instead, the spending will increase the debt.

      The Penn Wharton Budget Model calls that “deficit-financed spending,” Huntley said. “It is something that increases the debt relative to the baseline.”

      Senators from both parties who helped craft the bill are on the same page, however, in stating the legislation’s costs are covered.

      In a July 28 press conference, after a Senate procedural vote moved the bill forward, Sens. Rob Portman and Kyrsten Sinema, the lead negotiators, both said the legislation was paid for.

      “It’s paid for. We do it without raising taxes,” Portman, a Republican, said.

      “So, we’ve taken a lot of time to ensure that we were paying for this package, and doing so in a way that was responsible and that was defensible,” Sinema, a Democrat, said.

      Other senators who were involved in negotiating the package have reiterated that.

      “This is paid for. Our infrastructure bill is all paid for,” Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Aug. 1.

      The same day on the Senate floor, Republican Sen. Mitt Romney said the bill wouldn’t raise taxes and instead would take some money that had been appropriated but not used for COVID-19 relief. “This is a bill which is paid for.”

      Marc Goldwein, senior vice president and senior policy director at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, calls the claim a “half truth,” because the bill is “half paid for.”

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