On August 10, the U.S. Senate passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which includes $550 billion in new federal investments in America’s infrastructure and will add an estimated two million jobs per year to the national economy.
Following the announcement, National League of Cities CEO and Executive Director Clarence E. Anthony said:
“America’s cities, towns and villages urgently face overdue projects that need investment to build and maintain critical infrastructure, and today, the Senate answered our call to help us rebuild. We are thankful for the bipartisan group of senators who put together a package that brings resources to communities across our country that are ready to put in the work to strengthen, build, protect and maintain the infrastructure that keeps Americans moving.”
“As negotiations on a budget resolution continue, it is our hope that Congress will invest at-scale in the workforce skills training needed to make these infrastructure projects a reality. Additionally, critical programs that are authorized under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act must now be funded, particularly grant programs for drinking water, wastewater and stormwater. We cannot be shy as a country about investing in our people and in our communities to build a better quality of life in every place we call ‘home.’”
- includes new programs like the “Safe Streets for All” program to make streets safer, the bridge program making neglected bridges in poor condition a priority, and SMART transportation technology demonstration grants;
- provides additional RAISE grants (formerly TIGER/BUILD) to rebuild critical community transportation infrastructure projects;
- meets the evolving technology needs and challenges of a 21st-century economy by investing in broadband infrastructure, digital equity and cybersecurity;
- adds significant additional appropriations for key water infrastructure programs like the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds and to address PFAS drinking water contamination and lead pipe replacement. However, local governments need greater ability to access these funds in the form of grants rather than loans, particularly for lead pipe replacement; and
- strengthens infrastructure to withstand extreme weather events by investing in programs for wildfire mitigation, flood prevention, watershed protection and ecosystem restoration, and grid resilience. Specifically, the bill includes funding for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant, a key local government priority, to help local governments promote energy efficiency and advance renewable energy projects.