Surrounded by both Democratic and Republican lawmakers, President Joe Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrasctruce Bill into law on the White House lawn.
The history-making moment wasn’t lost on the president. “We’ve accomplished what Washington has long promised but never done: a historic investment in this country’s infrastructure,” President Biden said at the bill’s signing on Monday.
“This law is going to start to replace 100 percent of the nation’s lead pipes and service lines so every American, every child can turn on the faucet and drink clean water,” Biden continued. “And tens of thousands of plumbers and pipefitters are going to get work done in good-paying jobs.”
In addition to expanding access to clean water and high-speed internet, the White House said the infrastructure deal would rebuild America’s roads, bridges, and rails, tackle the climate crisis, advance environmental justice, strengthen the middle class and build up under-invested communities.
The historic bill was truly bipartisan, as 13 Republicans voted for the measure, while six Progressive Democrats, including Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), voted against it. In a statement, Rep. Omar explained that she stood by her decision not to vote yes on the infrastructure bill unless it was coupled with the Build Back Better Act that invests in childcare, paid leave, health care, housing, education, a roadmap to citizenship, and more.
Democrats are aiming to pass the Build Back Better Act by Thanksgiving.
Minnesota, which received a “C” grade on the American Society of Civil Engineers’ infrastructure report card, will receive an estimated $4.5 billion for roads, $680 million to improve water infrastructure, and $100 million for broadband from the infrastructure bill.
The White House touted the infrastructure measure, calling it a once-in-a-generation investment. “Combined with the President’s Build Back Framework, it will add on average 1.5 million jobs per year for the next 10 years,” the White House noted.
Ahead of the signing, President Biden signed an Executive Order that outlined the Administration’s priorities and established a task force to guide the law’s implementation.
The Executive Order lays out six key priorities:
- Invest public dollars efficiently, work to avoid waste, and focus on measurable outcomes for the American people;
- Increase the competitiveness of the United States economy, including through implementing the Act’s Made-in-America requirements and bolstering United States manufacturing and supply chains
- Improve job opportunities for millions of Americans by focusing on high labor standards for these jobs, including prevailing wages and the free and fair chance to join a union;
- Invest public dollars equitably, including through the Justice40 Initiative, which is a Government-wide effort toward a goal that 40 percent of the overall benefits from Federal investments in climate and clean energy flow to disadvantaged communities;
- Build infrastructure that is resilient and that helps combat the crisis of climate change; and
- Effectively coordinate with State, local, Tribal, and territorial governments in implementing these critical investments.
The task force will be charged with implementing the president’s vision of “rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure and positioning the U.S. to compete and win in the 21st century.”