Not enough infrastructure spending in infrastructure bill, Stewart says
SALT LAKE CITY — Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, said the recently passed $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill doesn’t spend enough on real infrastructure.
Flowing from the bill, Utah is set to receive $3 billion for roads and bridges, which includes $214 million to secure running water for homes on the Navajo Nation and $50 million for the Central Utah Project, according to Deseret New.
The $1.2 trillion package includes $550 billion in new investments for the nation’s bridges, airports, waterways, public transit and more to bolster the nation’s outdated infrastructure.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is now law! I am proud of our bipartisan group’s efforts to negotiate this legislation, which will provide historic investments that will benefit Utah and help rebuild our nation’s physical infrastructure.
— Senator Mitt Romney (@SenatorRomney) November 15, 2021
Romney also attended the bill signing ceremony Monday on the South Lawn of the White House.
Spend more on roads and bridges, congressman say
Stewart said Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill spends less on infrastructure than what Republicans wanted to spend.
“There was a Republican plan put forward by Senator Barrasso [R-Wyo.] that would have spent — are you ready for this? — about $640 billion on infrastructure.”
“Biden’s bill spends between $140 billion and $160 billion on infrastructure, which he defines as “roads, bridges, ports,” he said.
“This infrastructure bill is very, very little infrastructure. I mean, 9% of it’s actual infrastructure spending, and the rest of it’s just other stuff,” Stewart said.
Debbie asked what the “other stuff” was.
“Well, it’s all sorts of stuff. I mean, it’s new Green Deal. A lot of it is infrastructure spending on, for example, some broadband and 5G, which I think is important, but I think the market should spend that money, not the federal government. So it’s a whole list of things,” Stewart said.
The infrastructure bill includes $65 billion to bolster the country’s broadband infrastructure and help ensure that every American has access to high-speed internet, with one in four households expected to be eligible for a $30-per-month subsidy to pay for internet access, according to Forbes.
Running water for Utah homes
Debbie also pointed out that the infrastructure bill pays to bring running water to Utah homes inside the Navajo Nation.
“I’m one of the strongest advocates for expanding water accessibility in Utah sitting on the House Appropriations Committee,” Stewart said.
Debt piling up
The Congressional Budget Office estimates the infrastructure bill could add $256 billion to the nation’s budget deficit over the next 10 years, meaning nearly half of the package’s proposed new spending could end up tacked on to the nation’s $29 trillion debt load, reports Forbes.
“We have spent more than $11 trillion in 18 months,” Stewart said. “No way you can spend that kind of money and expect our grandkids are going to pay for it. We will have to pay for it.”
Up next for a vote:
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