Sinema on Cancellation of Infrastructure Vote: ‘Denying Americans millions of good-paying jobs… hurts everyday families’

Oct 2, 2021

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema today released the following statement after the U.S. House failed to hold a vote on the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act:
“The failure of the U.S. House to hold a vote on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is inexcusable, and deeply disappointing for communities across our country. Denying Americans millions of good-paying jobs, safer roads, cleaner water, more reliable electricity, and better broadband only hurts everyday families.
“Arizonans, and all everyday Americans, expect their lawmakers to consider legislation on the merits — rather than obstruct new jobs and critical infrastructure investments for no substantive reason. What Americans have seen instead is an ineffective stunt to gain leverage over a separate proposal. My vote belongs to Arizona, and I do not trade my vote for political favors — I vote based only on what is best for my state and the country. I have never, and would never, agree to any bargain that would hold one piece of legislation hostage to another.
“Congress was designed as a place where representatives of Americans with valid and diverse views find compromise and common ground. That is why, when President Biden asked me to continue bipartisan infrastructure negotiations, I agreed and helped deliver the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act– a historic, broadly popular plan that reflects a key priority of President Biden’s. My commitment to delivering lasting results is also why I have engaged for months in direct, good-faith negotiations over the separate budget reconciliation proposal.
“Good-faith negotiations, however, require trust. Over the course of this year, Democratic leaders have made conflicting promises that could not all be kept — and have, at times, pretended that differences of opinion within our party did not exist, even when those disagreements were repeatedly made clear directly and publicly. Canceling the infrastructure vote further erodes that trust. More importantly, it betrays the trust the American people have placed in their elected leaders and denies our country crucial investments to expand economic opportunities.”

Among the provisions in the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act stalled in the U.S. House:

  • A historic $110 billion investment to upgrade America’s roads and bridges
  • Reauthorization of surface transportation programs: The surface transportation authorizations expired at midnight on September 30th.  Not reauthorizing or extending the surface transportation programs results in furloughs and program impacts at the Department of Transportation even though Congress has passed a Continuing Resolution to avoid a broader government shutdown. The FAST Act states that after September 30, no funds may be expended from the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), which effectively forced a furlough of approximately 3,700 employees.  This affects programs and activities that are funded out of the HTF, including at the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and Federal Transit Administration (FTA), all of which are funded in part with resources from the HTF.
  • $39 billion to expand and strengthen public transit
  • $66 billion to upgrade passenger and freight rail
  • $65 billion to deploy high-speed broadband, expand broadband internet access, and help families afford broadband service
  • $27 billion to strengthen grid infrastructure, including capacity, flexibility, reliability, and resiliency — and in support for a Grid Deployment Authority
  • $32 billion to boost clean energy technologies – including carbon-capture, hydrogen, direct air capture, battery storage, energy efficiency, weatherization assistance, and solar energy on mine land – as well as regional clean energy hubs
  • $16 billion in critical funding to plug orphan wells and reduce methane emissions, and conduct abandoned mine land reclamation on federal, state, and Tribal lands
  • $6.25 billion clean school buses and ferries
  • $8.25 billion for wildfire management, resiliency, restoration, and natural resources-related infrastructure
  • $17.5 billion to upgrade ports and waterways
  • $3.5 billion in the Indian Health Service Sanitation Facilities Construction program for water infrastructure and resiliency
  • All necessary funding to complete all currently-authorized Indian Water Rights Settlements
  • $2 billion for the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program, which was established by the December COVID-19 relief law
  • $216 million for tribal climate resilience, adaptation, and community relocation planning, design, and implementation of projects that address the varying climate challenges facing tribal communities across the country
  • $8.3 billion in building and strengthening water infrastructure throughout the American West, including for aging infrastructure, water storage and conveyance, water recycling and reuse, desalination, drought contingency plans, and dam safety
  • $23.4 billion to implement the bipartisan Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act that was previously approved by the Senate — expanding and strengthening drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater systems
  • A historic $15 billion for lead replacement and $10 billion to address Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) contamination
  • $500 million in the Western Area Power Administration’s power purchase and transmission activities
  • $618 million for federal Watershed Programs that are critically important to Western and Midwestern states affected by drought
  • $15 billion in priority projects at every airport in the United States
  • $5 billion in competitive grants for terminal development and other landside projects
  • $5 billion in grants for strengthening Air Traffic Control towers and infrastructure
  • $3.85 billion to upgrade Land Ports of Entry
  • $12 billion for flood mitigation
  • $3.5 billion for the Hazardous Substance Superfund
  • $3 billion for grants to remediate Brownfield sites