O’Halleran Votes in Favor of Historic, Bipartisan Infrastructure Package
WASHINGTON – Tonight, Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) voted to pass the bipartisan infrastructure deal and voted in favor of a procedural vote to advance debate on the Build Better Back Better Act.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a bipartisan legislative package, represents one of the largest infrastructure investments in our nation’s history, targeting American roads, broadband expansion, electric grids, and water systems. The bill is expected to create two million American jobs per year for the next decade.
“Our nation’s crumbling infrastructure has created vast and complicated problems, but perhaps nowhere has the effect been felt so acutely as in rural Arizona,” said O’Halleran. “In the shadow of wildfire burn scars, towns across our state plead for flood control project funding, families lose children trying to cross washes that need safe bridges, and hardworking Arizonans traverse some of the most dangerous roads in need of repair in our country. And, tribal families across Indian Country far too often lack the infrastructure most of us have come to consider as a given—clean, running water; basic electricity; sanitation systems; and an internet connection.
“Our bill will finally provide long-overdue investments to address these problems that cost lives and livelihoods, creating millions of new jobs in the process. This legislation will create jobs that will support families and revitalize our crumbling infrastructure with made-in-America work—pipefitters, auto workers, clean energy construction, tradesmen, and specialized labor and small business involvement will all work in tandem to uplift rural economies across our country.”
Representing one of the most rural districts in America, O’Halleran has called for serious attention to our nation’s failing infrastructure since coming to Washington in 2017.
“For far too long, Congress has agreed that infrastructure is an American priority but has let political gridlock get in the way of concrete action,” continued O’Halleran. “I was proud to vote to pass this much-needed package today.”
“I want to thank Representative O’Halleran for his hard work passing the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act,” said U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Gina M. Raimondo. “For too long we’ve neglected investments in critical areas that directly impact American workers, American businesses and American families. One of the many historic investments in this bill is the effort to bridge the digital divide and ensure all Americans have access to reliable, affordable broadband. Broadband is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. Thanks to President Biden’s vision and the Congressman’s tireless effort to get this passed, we can now bring affordable broadband to every community in Arizona.”
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act includes:
- $65 billion for broadband and eliminating the digital divide too many experience, an issue on which O’Halleran is a recognized leader, which will protect the necessary infrastructure to transform health care, economic development, and our children’s education in rural Arizona;
- $3.3 billion for wildfire risk reduction, including community wildfire defense grants, mechanical thinning, controlled burns, and firefighting resources, providing a higher level of protection for our communities, watersheds and small businesses;
- $110 billion to overhaul our crumbling roads and bridges and make commuting safer for families;
- $11 billion for highway and pedestrian safety programs, as well as pipeline safety and repair to reduce traffic accidents and protect clean water infrastructure;
- $25 billion to repair and improve America’s long-outdated airports;
- $3.5 billion for Indian Health Service Water and Sewer to ensure clean water and sanitation systems in tribal communities—comparable text that was originally O’Halleran legislation;
- and over $8 billion in funding for western water infrastructure, including water storage, water recycling and reuse, waterSMART, and drought contingency plans, desperately needed for the future of Arizona agriculture, ranching, and our quickly growing economy.
“The programs in this bill will rebuild our crumbling infrastructure; keep America competitive with growing powers like China; create new, good-paying jobs that support a family; and combat climate change in the process,” said O’Halleran after the bill’s passage. “I was pleased to vote in favor of this bill that I’ve worked hard to ensure is tailored to benefit rural Arizona families. However, I remain disappointed in the politics and petty bickering that led to its delay in the first place.”
O’Halleran called on House leadership to bring the bill to the floor for a vote as soon as it passed the Senate this summer. For a fact sheet on the bill’s investments in Arizona prepared by the White House, click here.
Additionally, this evening, O’Halleran voted to move forward on consideration of the Build Back Better Act by passing a procedural measure to eventually bring the bill to the floor for debate.