MICHIGAN — State and local leaders are responding to the national infrastructure bill’s passage in the U.S. House of Representatives late Friday night.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer applauded the infrastructure plan for its potential to create “countless” jobs in the state of Michigan and help repair the state’s roads and bridges.
Governor Whitmer’s full statement reads:
“The bipartisan infrastructure plan is a win-win for Michigan because it will create countless good-paying, blue collar jobs, while helping us fix even more roads and bridges across the state.
“I am grateful to Michigan’s congressional delegation for working to get this done. The infrastructure plan will put our tax dollars back to work in our state to make game-changing, historic investments toward upgrading our state’s roads, bridges, water infrastructure, and so much more. This investment will make a huge difference in people’s lives and build on the work that we’re doing in Michigan to deliver on the kitchen-table issues. I’m ready to work with both parties in the legislature to get shovels in the ground and put Michiganders first.”
The governor’s office adds the infrastructure act would include the following improvements in the state of Michigan:
- $7.3 billion toward fixing roads.
- $1 billion toward public transportation.
- $1.3 billion toward water infrastructure (including the replacement of lead pipes).
- $100 million toward broadening access to faster internet.
- $110 million toward boosting infrastructure for charging electric vehicles.
On Twitter, Rep. Fred Upton celebrated the bipartisan plan's potential to rebuild Michigan's infrastructure without the need to raise taxes. He also expressed his disdain for the "political football" that took place in the last few weeks.
Read Representative Upton's tweet thread here:
…expand broadband to underserved communities, strengthen our energy grid against Russian & Chinese cyberattacks & create jobs across SW MI…
— Rep. Fred Upton (@RepFredUpton) November 6, 2021
Sen. Gary Peters says the infrastructure act would also help mitigate risks for natural disasters, such as flooding and shoreline erosion.
Senator Peters’s full statement reads:
“Climate change is causing communities across Michigan and our nation to experience an increase in the frequency and intensity of severe weather events. The loan program I created, along with this critical funding I secured, will help our communities tackle this rising threat by giving local governments the resources to upgrade their infrastructure and help reduce natural disaster risk.
“I look forward to seeing the President sign this important provision into law so we can make our infrastructure more resilient, protect our communities from natural disasters, and save taxpayers money in the long run.”
Rep. Peter Meijer expressed his frustration over the bill’s passage, claiming the bill itself was held “hostage” while Democrats crafted the Build Back Better Act.
Representative Meijer’s full statement reads:
“Back in August, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed the U.S. Senate with bipartisan support. The House had the opportunity to vote on and pass this bill nearly three months ago, but Speaker Pelosi and the progressive wing of her caucus held this bill hostage as they developed a multi-trillion-dollar partisan spending package, which they call the ‘Build Back Better’ (BBB) Act. Because Democratic leadership chose to let progressives take the reins and link the procedural vote for BBB to passage of the infrastructure bill, I had no choice but to vote against both. Our country desperately needs commonsense infrastructure investments, and I am deeply frustrated that Democrats chose to play petty politics with such a critical issue.”
Sen. Debbie Stabenow touted the infrastructure plan as a crucial step forward in modernizing the country, investing in the Great Lakes and ensuring that the nation’s tax dollars will go toward American-made goods.
Senator Stabenow’s full statement reads:
“We are one step closer to President Biden signing a historic bill to rebuild and modernize America. There is so much in here of critical importance to Michigan—from rebuilding roads and bridges, to the removal of lead pipes, to high-speed internet in every corner of Michigan, to the largest single investment ever made in the Great Lakes. I am also extremely pleased that my legislation to strengthen Buy American laws is included, to ensure that American tax dollars are spent on American products and services.”
Rep. Bill Huizenga claims the bill's passage will lead to "reckless spending," claiming there are more more cost-effective alternatives to improve the nation's infrastructure.
Read Representative Huizenga's tweet thread here:
There was a more targeted and cost effective way to do infrastructure that was rejected by the WH and Speaker Pelosi. I will not support legislation that spends more than necessary and opens the door for trillions upon trillions of spending on liberal and socialist priorities.
— Rep. Bill Huizenga (@RepHuizenga) November 6, 2021
Rep. Elissa Slotkin says the infrastructure bill’s passage shows that collaboration across party lines is not a pipe dream, adding the plan will be a “transformative” investment in Mighigan’s future.
Representative Slotkin’s full statement reads:
“Tonight, I enthusiastically voted for the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which represents a once-in-a-generation investment in rebuilding Michigan while creating tens of thousands of good-paying, union jobs in my state. This includes over $7 billion to repair roads and bridges; more than $1 billion to replace lead pipes and clean up contaminated drinking water in Michigan; and over $100 million to make sure all Michiganders – no matter their zip code – have reliable internet.
“I’m very happy that this package is finally headed to the President’s desk to be signed into law. Passing this bill is the clearest signal we can send – to our constituents and to the world – that bipartisan agreement is still possible, and that Congress can deliver for the American people on the biggest challenges we face. After decades of talk about rebuilding our infrastructure, tonight we got it done.
“I also voted for a procedural motion to begin debate on the Build Back Better Act, or the ‘human infrastructure’ bill. From the beginning, I have laid out the what I need to see to support this bill, including directly to the President when he came to our district last month: it should be transformative for Michigan, to include change on childcare and lowering prescription drug costs, and it should be targeted, meaning it needs to be paid for, and not on the backs of the middle class.
“After getting the latest draft of this bill on November 3, my staff and I have pored over this legislation to understand the details and give them a thorough review. As an independently-minded Representative from an independently-minded district, I have a responsibility to actually read the full bill, understand the details, and show our math. I’ll be working with my colleagues in the coming days to make sure we finish that process so we can take the next steps and deliver for our constituents.”
Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lavora Barnes says the infrastructure act is an overall win for Michiganders.
Barnes’s full statement reads:
“President Biden and Democrats in Congress have once again delivered for Michigan’s families — and it’s not hyperbole to say that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will change lives. In passing President Biden’s popular infrastructure bill, House Democrats have moved us one step closer to creating thousands of good-paying jobs, expanding access to high-speed internet across the state, and investing billions of dollars in Michigan communities across the Great Lakes state.
“Thanks to President Biden and under the leadership of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, families from Houghton to Detroit can rest assured knowing that their drinking water will be cleared of toxic chemicals, drivers will be safer on our roads and bridges, and businesses will be able to build back better than ever before.
“And while it’s no surprise that a vast majority of GOP lawmakers from Michigan voted against their constituents by opposing this bipartisan deal, it’s clear to Michiganders that it's Democrats that have delivered where Republicans failed to — and voters won’t forget it.”
Michigan Agri-Business Association President Chuck Lippstreu says the bill’s passage will benefit Michigan farmers, adding crumbling infrastructure is often to blame for delays within the farming industry and rural businesses.
President Lippstreu’s full statement reads:
“This bipartisan investment to fix our nation’s crumbling infrastructure is good news for rural Michigan. Michigan agriculture relies on functioning highways, bridges, waterways, railways and high-speed internet to serve markets across the globe. Too often, crumbling rural infrastructure creates needless delays and uncertainty for rural businesses, rural communities and Michigan farmers. We are pleased to see this bipartisan measure sent to President Biden’s desk because it will equip Michigan agriculture to connect, compete and continue growing our state’s economy.”