Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Wins House Approval, Public Works Association’s Applause
Washington D.C.—Minutes after the U.S. House approved the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the 30,000-member American Public Works Association applauded the action and commended lawmakers for taking a major, historic step towards improving American citizens’ quality of life.
“Congress’ long-awaited approval of IIJA tonight is welcomed and applauded across the country by public works professionals,” said APWA President Stan Brown. “From 2003 to 2017, federal infrastructure spending dropped more than 20 percent and negatively affected those who rely on our highways, roads, bridges, transit, and water and wastewater systems.”
“IIJA promises to upgrade all areas of this country’s infrastructure,” said APWA CEO Scott Grayson. “From roads and bridges to better protecting communities against natural disasters to modernizing our water infrastructure network, this long-awaited legislation will make significant upgrades in people’s lives.
“APWA believes the country needs consistent, substantial, and long-term investment in our public works infrastructure, and the commitment of $550 billion in new federal spending over 5 years represents a generational improvement that still recognizes the need for local decision making,” Grayson said.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act adds $559 billion to the federal government’s average annual investment of $650 billion and addresses the association’s public policy priorities for surface transportation reauthorization, water resiliency, and emergency management, including:
- Reauthorizing the primary federal aid highway programs increases overall spending $273.2 billion over 5 years,
- Codifying elements of the “one federal decision” policy to require agencies to coordinate reviews and authorization decisions for major infrastructure projects and set a goal for completing environmental reviews within two years,
- $11 billion for road safety,
- $7.3 billion for the new Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-saving Transportation (PROTECT) program to make infrastructure more resilient to storms and natural disasters,
- $55 billion towards water and wastewater infrastructure,
- $5 billion to the Assistance for Small and Disadvantaged Communities Drinking Water grant program to deal with emerging contaminants,
- $1 billion in grant program (FY2022 through FY2025) to help states, tribal or multistate governments address cybersecurity threats, and
- $3.5 billion for the National Flood Insurance Fund for flood mitigation assistance.
The American Public Works Association serves over 30,000 professionals in all aspects of public works who plan, design, build, maintain, operate and oversee the country’s vast infrastructure networks. APWA’s members include employees from local, county, state/province, and federal agencies, and private sector personnel who supply products and services to those professionals. APWA membership is open to any individual, agency, or corporation with an interest in public works and infrastructure issues.
For more information about APWA, visit www.apwa.net.