Southern Nevada congressional delegation praises $1 trillion infrastructure deal

Politics

Nevada projects could include widening I-15, new trains, expanded broadband

President Joe Biden signs the “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act” during an event on the South Lawn of the White House, Monday, Nov. 15, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Southern Nevada’s entire congressional delegation — all Democrats — voted for President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan, which passed in bipartisan fashion earlier this month. The president signed the bill into law in a White House ceremony on Monday.

The president hopes to use the infrastructure law to build back his popularity, which has taken a hit amid rising inflation and the inability to fully shake the public health and economic risks from COVID-19.

The deal, the largest investment in America’s aging infrastructure in decades, funds projects to fix America’s roads, bridges, airports and other traditional infrastructure, while expanding broadband access and electric-vehicle charging stations.

The agreement ultimately got support from 19 Senate Republicans, including Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell. Thirteen House Republicans also voted for the infrastructure bill. Nevada’s only federally elected Republican, Rep. Mark Amodei, did not vote for the deal.

Nevada-specific plans, while not codified in the law, but widely speculated about how the money will be used, include widening Interstate 15, building a new highway from Las Vegas to Phoenix and constructing a new high-speed rail line from Las Vegas to Los Angeles.

Earlier this year, Amtrak said its vision of expanding rail service, documented in its “Amtrak Connects US” plan, would add a Las Vegas-Los Angeles route, as well as a new route from Los Angeles to Phoenix and a Tucson-Phoenix connection.

The infrastructure plan, which was originally had a price tag of closer to $2 trillion, was whittled down to more traditional infrastructure projects for broader support.

No taxes will be raised to fund it. A Morning Consult poll taken after the announcement of the plan found nearly two-thirds of Americans support taxing the super-wealthy and corporations to pay for it. An ABC News/Washington Post poll taken last week showed two-thirds of Americans supported the measure.

“It’s bipartisan,” Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto told 8 News Now on Monday. “This is a perfect example of when Republicans and Democrats come together, we work together and we’re focused on the needs of our communities across the country that you can really do something powerful and make a difference.

Cortez Masto highlighted the part of the plan that funnels millions of dollars for water recycling.

“For far too long, Washington did not prioritize our crumbling infrastructure,” Democratic Sen. Jacky Rosen said in a statement. “This bipartisan package will deliver reliable and more affordable high-speed internet to those who need it, modernize our airports, fix our bridges, repair and expand our highways, mitigate the threats of drought and wildfires, secure our electric grid from cyberattacks, and so much more. This is a jobs bill for our state, and it’s going to mean a stronger economic recovery for workers and businesses — particularly in our travel, tourism, and hospitality industry — and a better quality of life for all of Nevada’s hardworking families.”

“I was proud to join President Biden at the White House today as he signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act,” Democratic Rep. Dina Titus said. “This bipartisan legislation is proof that when we work together we can deliver for the American people. This infrastructure bill makes the largest investment in almost a century in our infrastructure. It creates good-paying union jobs and provides resources for clean water, lead pipe replacement, broadband internet, and electric vehicle infrastructure. The legislation will help ease inflationary pressures and strengthen supply chains by making long-overdue improvements in our nation’s ports, airports, rail, roads, bridges, and transit systems.” 

“With today’s bill signing, President Biden has put Nevadans back to work rebuilding our nation. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will create good-paying union jobs, strengthen our roads and public transit, bring high-speed internet to every family, and protect our vital water supply,” Democratic Rep. Steven Horsford said. “Over the coming years, the law will direct federal investments to every part of Nevada, helping every community thrive.”

“It was an honor to witness [President Biden] sign the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law,” Democratic Rep. Susie Lee tweeted. “This once-in-a-generation legislation is proof that when we come together, we can find common-sense solutions and create a better future for our nation.”

The Republican National Committee nor the Nevada GOP have released statements or tweets about the infrastructure deal’s passage.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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