Maine’s delegation celebrate House passage of bipartisan infrastructure legislation

The legislation will now head to the president’s desk for his signature.
Published: Nov. 6, 2021 at 8:46 AM EDT
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WABI) - Members of Maine’s delegation are celebrating the House passage of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).

The legislation, which passed the Senate by a strong, bipartisan vote of 69-30 in August, now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

The bill authorizes $1.3 billion to Maine for federal-aid highway apportioned programs over five years to construct, build, and maintain its roads and highways.

The bill also authorizes $225 million to Maine for bridge construction, maintenance, and repair. It will also bring in money for broadband, airports, railroads, clean water, and electric vehicles.

The legislation will now head to the president’s desk for his signature.

Senator Susan Collins, the Ranking Member of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, was part of the core group of 10 Senators who negotiated the text of the bill.

She released the following statement Saturday morning: “After months of delay, I’m pleased that the House finally took action and passed the landmark bipartisan infrastructure bill. This infrastructure package is good for America. Earlier this year, I joined a group of 10 Senators—five Republicans and five Democrats—who were determined to break through the partisan gridlock and pass this long-overdue infrastructure investment for the American people. After months of working night and day, our bipartisan negotiations resulted in a truly transformational package for our country that will make the most significant investment in American infrastructure since the establishment of the Interstate Highway System in the 1950s. One of the many provisions that will have a significant impact on Maine is the $65 billion investment for broadband, which will expand high-speed Internet access to rural and unserved areas of our state. I negotiated this section of the bill with Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), along with our colleagues and the Administration. It has become increasingly clear in recent years – and especially in light of the pandemic – that broadband is not a luxury, but a necessity. I look forward to this bill being signed into law.”

Senator Angus King called it a historic investment in America’s infrastructure:

“The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is monumental legislation that will bring incredible change to Maine communities,” said Senator King. “I’m most excited by the legislation’s unprecedented broadband investments, which will drastically increase access to high-speed, affordable broadband and help to ensure that every Maine person can engage in the 21st century economy, no matter where they live. This job-creating bill does so much more, though – including funds to repair our roads and bridges, protect our environment, confront climate change, strengthen America’s cybersecurity, and on and on. I truly believe that ten years from now, the passage of this legislation will be heralded as a transformative moment that laid a foundation for success for Americans of all backgrounds. I’m deeply grateful for the partnership of my colleagues in Congress; together, we’ve crafted a bipartisan bill that will significantly improve our nation. It wasn’t easy – but it was important, and we got it done. Now, the American people will reap the rewards.”

Congressman Jared Golden also applauded the passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill saying:

“Democrats, Republicans, and the White House have worked together to make a once-in-a-generation investment in jobs and better roads, bridges, broadband, replacing lead pipes, and much more. This bill will create and support Maine construction jobs and it’s a clear win for our state and the entire country.”

“Since Senator Collins and I met with fellow members of Congress at Governor Hogan’s residence seven months ago to begin developing the framework the bipartisan infrastructure bill is based upon, I have been proud to be a member of this bipartisan effort.”

Golden also voted to open debate on the Build Back Better Act and will continue to review the 2,000-page legislation and forthcoming budgetary analysis before it comes to the House floor for a vote later this month.

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