RICHMOND, Va. — U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger and Virginia Governor Ralph Northam today joined representatives from several Virginia labor and business organizations to highlight the transformational and job-creating benefits of the bipartisan infrastructure package awaiting action in the U.S. House of Representatives — and to call for its swift passage.
To urge the U.S. House to pass this legislation as soon as possible and deliver results for Virginia, Spanberger and Northam were joined by representatives from the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) Mid-Atlantic Region, the Mid-Atlantic Pipe Trades Association, and the Iron Workers District Council of the Mid-Atlantic States. Additionally, they were joined by Brian Anderson, President & CEO of ChamberRVA.
During the event outside the Virginia State Capitol, Spanberger, Northam, and Virginia labor groups highlighted the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act’s billions in investments for Virginia roads, bridges, rail, pipes, transit, and broadband internet. Specifically, the legislation includes an estimated $7 billion for Virginia highways and more than $530 million for Virginia bridge replacement and repairs over five years. Additionally, Virginia is expected to receive a minimum of $100 million to support its ongoing efforts to expand high-speed broadband internet access throughout the Commonwealth, as well as an expected $738 million over five years to improve Virginia’s pipes and water infrastructure. Click here for a White House fact sheet outlining the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act’s Virginia-focused provisions.
“Through conversations with both Democrats and Republicans, I know that physical infrastructure — as an issue — is one that unites Americans across the political spectrum. Our roads, our bridges, our electrical grid, and our water systems connect us. They bind us together, and they support good-paying jobs for Virginia workers and their families. With these investments, we will be investing in a stronger America for the next generation,” said Spanberger. “I was proud to stand alongside Governor Northam and Virginia labor organizations in calling for the U.S. House to move the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to the President’s desk as soon as possible. As we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, this bipartisan bill would be truly transformational for Virginia’s economy, as well as the long-term success of our Commonwealth’s workforce.”
“Infrastructure means jobs,” said Northam. “People are working in Virginia and our economy is stronger than most other states — thanks in large part to our own investments in broadband, mass transit and roads, clean energy and more. We all want to keep this momentum going and keep people on the job — so Congress needs to pass this federal infrastructure bill.”
“The bipartisan infrastructure bill is being held hostage at the expense of Virginia’s working families,” said Dennis L. Martire, Vice President & Mid-Atlantic Regional Manager, Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA). “Virginia has a lot of rebuilding to do not just in infrastructure but also in its workforce, and we need representatives from both sides of the aisle to join Representative Spanberger to start that rebuilding now, not weeks from now. Passing the infrastructure bill is critical in ensuring that both the roads we drive on and the roads to family-supporting jobs are strong throughout the Commonwealth.”
“The bipartisan infrastructure bill proposes the single largest investment in America’s roads and bridges since the interstate highway system was built decades ago. That’s big and it puts a lot of people — a lot of hardworking Virginians — back to work. We have to make sure these are good paying, family sustaining jobs,” said Aaron Bast, Business Manager, Iron Workers Local 5 & Member, Iron Workers District Council of the Mid-Atlantic States.
“ChamberRVA, in collaboration with the U.S. Chamber and the Virginia Chamber, strongly urges Congress to pass the Infrastructure, Investment, and Jobs Act to immediately send to President Biden,” said Brian Anderson, President & CEO, ChamberRVA. “Our Nation’s infrastructure is falling short of our current and future needs and should not be hindered by partisan politics. Critical investments in building and maintaining our roads and bridges, expanding broadband and public transit, and improving our water system and electrical grid will strengthen the conditions for job creation and continued economic development.”
The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act would create new jobs and support physical infrastructure projects in Central Virginia and across the country, including through an estimated:
ROADS & BRIDGES
- $7 billion for Virginia highways and $537 million for Virginia bridge replacement and repairs over five years. In Virginia, there are 577 bridges and more than 2,124 miles of highway in poor condition.
- $40 billion nationwide for bridge repair, replacement, and rehabilitation. This investment marks the single-largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the federal interstate highway system.
- $1.2 billion over five years to improve public transportation in Virginia.
- $66 billion nationwide in passenger rail to upgrade speed, accessibility, efficiency, and resilience. This investment includes $22 billion in grants to Amtrak, $24 billion as federal-state partnership grants for Northeast Corridor modernization, $12 billion for partnership grants for intercity rail service including high-speed rail, $5 billion for rail improvement and safety grants, and $3 billion for grade crossing safety improvements. This funding is expected to support ongoing projects in Virginia — including several announced with CSX, Norfolk Southern, Amtrak, and VRE.
AIRPORTS, PORTS, & WATERWAYS
- $25 billion to improve the nation’s airports — including investments in runways, gates, terminals, and concourses.
- $17 billion for port infrastructure to fund waterway and coastal infrastructure, inland waterway improvements, and land ports of entry.
- $65 billion for broadband internet deployment nationwide to increase access and lower costs associated with connecting to the internet.
- A minimum allocation of $100 million for broadband internet expansion in Virginia. Under this bill, more than 1.9 million Virginians will be eligible for the expanded Affordability Connectivity Benefit, which will help low-income Virginia families afford high-speed internet access.
CLIMATE & RESILIENCE
- $47 billion nationwide for climate resilience measures that will help our communities weather increasingly severe storms, droughts, floods, fires, heat waves, and sea level rise. This investment will also support FEMA flood mitigation grants, make infrastructure investments to increase coastal resilience, and improve mapping and data so that households and businesses can better protect themselves from future flood events.
- $238 million for the Chesapeake Bay Program to support its ecosystem resiliency and restoration efforts.
ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING
- $106 million for Virginia over five years to support the expansion of an electric vehicle (EV) charging network in the Commonwealth. Virginia will also have the opportunity to apply for the $2.5 billion in nationwide grant funding dedicated to EV charging included in the bill.
- $65 billion nationwide for our aging electric grid infrastructure. These investments will help pave the way for additional deployment of clean energy jobs, expand smart grid technologies that reduce energy waste and lower electricity bills for small businesses and families, and bolster resiliency to prevent the kinds of outages seen in Texas earlier this year.
Passing a bipartisan, physical infrastructure-focused bill has been one of Spanberger’s major priorities this Congress.
In April 2021, the Congresswoman joined fellow Members of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus at the White House to discuss a path forward on these much-needed investments. Later that month, Spanberger met with a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators, U.S. Representatives, and Governors — including Northam and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, to discuss shared physical infrastructure priorities in several U.S. states.
Following the successful bipartisan negotiation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in July 2021, Spanberger spoke in support of the legislation at a Problem Solvers Caucus press conference outside the U.S. Capitol. Click here to watch her remarks.
And in August 2021, Spanberger hosted U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm in Central Virginia to highlight the economic benefits of the bipartisan infrastructure legislation following its passage in the U.S. Senate, as well as to amplify ongoing, community-focused efforts to create clean energy jobs in the region.
Spanberger has pushed for large-scale, commonsense investments in physical infrastructure since arriving in the U.S. House. During her first month in office, she called on U.S. House leadership to pursue bipartisan legislation that would invest in critical infrastructure improvements in Central Virginia and across the country.