Sen. Leahy: Infrastructure bill will yield wide and deep benefits across Vermont

The following is a press release from the office of U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy.

More than two months after the U.S. Senate passed bipartisan legislation to invest $1.2 trillion to the nation’s infrastructure, the House of Representatives overnight has given final approval to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The bill next goes to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who has strongly supported and voted for the bill in the Senate, hailed passage of the bill as long overdue and urgently needed. He especially applauded House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) for their concerted work to get the bill across the finish line.

Leahy said: “This bipartisan bill, now on the verge of becoming law, is historic, and these investments will have wide and deep benefits across Vermont. It is a once-in-a-generation investment to help build back America’s crumbling roads and bridges, and it will drive our communities into the 21st Century and beyond through groundbreaking investments in broadband, public transit, and clean water infrastructure. The Senate acted more than two months ago to pass this meaningful legislation. Final enactment should not have taken this long. Finally the House has now taken action, and the President can sign this bill into law. It is time for us to get to work and get shovels in the ground in Vermont and across the country.”

Leahy continued: “Now our attention can turn to additional legislative work to deliver even more needed resources to our communities and to our families, as well as to address the mounting climate crisis. For too long, we have neglected critical domestic priorities. The time for dallying is over. Let’s get to work.”

Leahy chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Among the bill’s achievements is $110 billion in new investments to address the aging infrastructure needs of the nation’s roads and bridges. The bill also provides $66 billion for passenger and freight rail as well as $39.2 billion in public transit funding to address the country’s transit system repair backlog. The Department of Transportation estimates that the backlog is more than 24,000 buses, 5,000 rail cars, 200 stations, and thousands of miles of track, signals, and power systems.

Based on formula funding, Vermont is expected to receive $1.4 billion for federal-aid highway apportioned programs and $225 million for bridge replacement and repairs under this package over five years. Vermont also will receive $83 million over five years to improve public transportation options across the state and $21 million over five years to support the expansion of an Electric Vehicle (EV) charging network in the state. Vermont will have the opportunity to apply for the $2.5 billion in grant funding dedicated to EV charging in the bill. For broadband, Vermont will receive a minimum allocation of $100 million to help provide broadband coverage across the state. The bill includes $150 million for the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC), a program for which Leahy has long led in Congress. Projects in Vermont regularly receive a quarter of the funding allocated to the NBRC. And the bill also provides $40 million for another Leahy priority: Water quality projects in the Lake Champlain Basin, through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

This bipartisan infrastructure package also makes significant down payments on climate resiliency initiatives to make the country and Vermont more prepared to tackle the climate crisis. It authorizes an estimated $65 billion investment in clean energy transmission, the single-largest clean energy investment in American history. It also invests $10 billion to address Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS), $5 billion for the replacement of existing school buses with zero emission and clean school buses with a priority on low-income, rural and Tribal schools, and $3.5 billion in the Weatherization Assistance Program, reducing energy costs for more than 700,000 with low incomes.

The bill also dedicates $65 billion to building out America’s broadband infrastructure. This funding will go toward grants to states for broadband deployment, making broadband access more affordable for low-income families, expanding eligible private activity bond projects to include broadband infrastructure, and supporting middle-mile deployment. Vermont is expected to receive at least $100 million of the $42.45 billion for grants to states for broadband deployment. This funding will help residents of at least 40,000 Vermont addresses that currently lack access to quality, high-speed internet service. The bill builds on and permanently establishes the Emergency Broadband Benefit program, renaming it the Affordable Connectivity Benefit. This program will provide a $30-per-month voucher for low-income families to use toward any internet service plan of their choosing.

Additionally, the Bipartisan Infrastructure bill includes $3.418 billion through the General Services Administration (GSA) to invest in our Nation’s Land Port of Entries (LPOEs). This funding will help improve both the facilitation of trade and travel to the United States as well as supporting the deployment of advanced screening equipment to strengthen security. The bill would fund the following LPOE projects in Vermont: Highgate Springs, Alburgh Springs, Beebe Plain, Norton and Richford. The Highgate Springs LPOE, located on Interstate 89, is among the highest volume ports between the United States and Canada.

Image courtesy of Senate.gov
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10 thoughts on “Sen. Leahy: Infrastructure bill will yield wide and deep benefits across Vermont

  1. Why do I not believe the crap Leahy is saying… oh yeah cuz he’s a democrat. He lives in VA, he as some strokes.. and he doesn’t care about Vermont.
    You all know that once that money comes to Vermont the legislators will make sure most of the money goes to their pet projects first. second that their “friends” get money for their businesses. The bridges and roads will be the last thing to have work done (if any)… For yrs they have said they will take care of the roads and bridges.. they just put band-aids on them. so with the Billions coming don’t hold your breath…

  2. Fortunately for Vermonters, Patty is on his way out. His advocating (as well as that of Welch and Sanders) for our nation’s managed decline, will be his trademark, besides being a leaker.

  3. So Mr Leahy…where are provisions in this bill for seniors who live on the meager payment from social security for $1,000.00 a month or less that still have to pay for additional insurance because medicare does not cover their medical bills?

    You had absolutely no problem forking out hundreds of dollars a month to bodies totally capable of working and did absolutely nothing to help those seniors that struggle every month to survive.

    You’re in favor of paying illegal immigrants a half a million dollars a piece if they lost a child.

    What about Americans who lost their children due to illegal immigrants murdering them.

    Why aren’t you even attempting to offer something to the American taxpayers for their pain and suffering at the hands of the illegal immigrants that are surging our border and coming into America thousands and thousands at a time while you remain silent?

    If we are working on infrastructure we need to stick to roads and bridges not to supporting medical leave or babysitting or any of the other garbage that responsible people handle themselves while being paid handily.

    You are a disgrace to the state of Vermont and to the United states of America along with your buddies Peter Welch and a Bernie sanders

    • Richard, you said it so right. What I want to know is how can he be Senator of Vermont when he lives in VA.. ?? He hasn’t cared about Vermont for decades.!!!!
      He’s all for the illegals coming to Vermont. He doesn’t care about Seniors. He got his big-money through the lockdown while the rest lost their jobs and homes.
      If he cared about Vermont and Vermonters he would work on helping businesses reopen, bring more businesses to Vermont. There’s a lot of TRUE VERMONTERS who were born and raised here who have left Vt. The liberals moved here and took over. 98% of the legislators are out of staters. They have moved here to make Vermont into the state they left.
      You would think the 3 amigos would do something for Vermont instead of just themselves.. The 3 commie clowns

  4. Paid for with “fairy dust and unicorn urine.” Interesting to see investments to secure the I-89 border with Canada while the porous southern border is not a concern.

  5. The federal debt in 1974 – when Leaky first showed up in DC – was $475 billion.

    47 years later he’s still there and the debt is over $30 trillion. Great job.

  6. Another one of Vermont’s ” Three Stooges ” babbling Pat thinks just because the Feds have a
    printing press this is a good idea and it’s all paid for ” right Joe “……idiots !!

    Leahy is a little long in the tooth so he doesn’t care about any federal debt, Socialist Sanders
    wants more because it’s not his money and then we have Welch, he’ll just follow whatever
    the DNC tells him, a leader he’s not.

    With all this money every road, bridge, and infrastructure should be new, Nah, we’ll be getting
    more social programs, don’t forget to tell your kids and grandkids they have a debt to pay back.

  7. This is a sellout of the hard working, law abiding American Taxpayer.

    We are being forced to put illegal immigrants before Americans.

    Pat Leahy you are a disgrace to Vermont and are hell bent on destroying our Republic in the name of socialism.

  8. “…wide and deep benefits across Vermont.” Yep, for sure, can’t wait. Should probably get us as much as you can, Patrick.. No worries…we won’t hear the wailing & curse’s of the next couple of generations trying to pay it off for us ..we’ll be gone. Thanks for looking out for us…I feel all fuzzy.

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