AISI Welcomes Passage of Infrastructure Bills in US
US House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has passed INVEST in America Act. The bill, HR 3684, a 5 year USD 547 billion surface transportation reauthorization bill, now moves to the full House for consideration after passing the committee 38-26. US House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Mr Peter DeFazio said “The best part of rebuilding our infrastructure for the modern era is the incredible opportunity for our nation that comes with it. We’re talking millions of good-paying jobs that can’t be exported, real and sustained support for US manufacturing, and the chance to make our nation a world leader once again. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity that we can’t afford to miss.”
The bill triples funding for Amtrak to USD 32 billion, allowing for enhanced service, ADA upgrades, and investments to renew and support service on the Northeast Corridor and long-distance and state-supported routes. Similar to a 2020 version of the bill, provisions of the legislation mandate two-person freight rail crews and take steps to address the problems of bus operator and transit worker assault as well as other issues faced by SMART-TD’s bus, rail and transit members.
American Iron and Steel Institute President & CEO Mr Kevin Dempsey said “One of the most important things Congress can do to spur economic growth and create jobs, including in the American steel industry, is to pass long-term infrastructure legislation. The more than 500 billion dollar surface transportation bill passed by the House T&I committee today would make significant investments in our national infrastructure system, including our deteriorating roads and bridges. We are also pleased that the legislation contains provisions to continue and expand the use of Buy America requirements for the steel products used in federal infrastructure projects. We strongly hope that today’s committee action will help facilitate the House and Senate working together in a bipartisan fashion to pass consensus legislation to fix America’s structurally deficient roads, bridges and highways.”
The committee also passed the Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act of 2021, which reauthorizes the EPA Clean Water State Revolving Fund, which AISI has also long supported. Among other things, this measure will enable continued and consistent investment in key wastewater infrastructure projects and ensure that the steel products used in them are made in America.