(The Center Square) – Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis says the current infrastructure bill being debated on Capitol Hill should include infrastructure.
The Taylorville Republican joined an Americans for Prosperity discussion on the bill, a group that has been highly critical of the contents, and has said it is full of pork projects.
Davis said the Biden administration’s bipartisan deal on infrastructure isn’t a deal at all, and Democrats are holding the bill hostage by try to include things such as family leave.
“I think you will see somewhere between $4 trillion to $6 trillion being spent, with the percentage invested in what all of us would consider real infrastructure, roads, bridges, ports, locks and dams, airports, that will be about 6% of that $4 trillion,” Davis said.
Democratic leaders have said the Senate’s plan, which would pump $1.2 trillion into roads, bridges and broadband, will not get through Congress without a second larger bill. That measure includes items the GOP has rejected, including universal preschool, health care expansion and climate change initiatives.
Davis said as it stands now, the bill is no good for rural areas in downstate Illinois.
“They have a provision in this bill that no new roadways can be built,” Davis said. “If that is not an attack on rural America, I don’t know what is. Where do you think we need new roadways to deal with safety issues and congestion issues?”
The House on Thursday passed a $760 billion transportation and water package that is separate from the larger infrastructure bill.
The measure, called the INVEST in America Act, authorizes $343 billion for roads, bridges and safety programs, including $4 billion for electric vehicle charging infrastructure; $109 billion for transit, $95 billion for passenger and freight rail, including a tripling of Amtrak funding to $32 billion; and $117 billion for drinking water infrastructure.
Rep. Peter DeFazio, lead sponsor of the bill and chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure called his bill “the transformative policy that the Biden administration wants.”
Davis, who serves as the ranking member of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Highways & Transit, released a statement after passage of the bill.
“It’s disappointing that House Democrats opted to pass a partisan, deficit-financed surface transportation bill even as Democrats and Republicans in the Senate are advancing an overwhelmingly bipartisan surface bill as we speak,” Davis said in the statement. “Traditionally, the surface transportation bill makes critical investments in our nation’s roads and bridges, yet the Democrats in the Hose co-opted this typically bipartisan process to force their Green New Deal mandates on the American people.”