To the Editor:
Recently, Congress notched a big win for the American public by passing the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. As law, this critical legislation will make a long overdue investment in our nation’s roads, bridges, ports, energy grids and other core assets on which we all rely.
Maine’s Sen. Susan Collins deserves our deepest gratitude for her leadership to get this bill through Congress and to the President’s desk. Sen. Collins was among the bipartisan “Group of 21” senators that authored the package’s framework after infrastructure negotiations faltered this spring. Her hard work and political acumen salvaged talks, preventing Democrats from muscling through a party-line bill that likely would have been full of wasteful spending.
Instead, Sen. Collins and her colleagues crafted a bill that has long eluded lawmakers in Washington — a comprehensive infrastructure investment deal. Through this legislation, Maine will receive nearly $2.4 billion of federal funds over the next five years, including $1.3 billion for road upgrades, $225 million for bridge renovations and $390 million for water and sewer systems.
Importantly, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act also offers a much-needed down payment on our future. It includes funding to expand broadband access and makes the largest investment in clean energy transmission and grid capabilities in U.S. history. These priorities will support jobs of tomorrow, improve energy security and foster innovation and economic diversification across our state and country.
Sen. Collins’ leadership demonstrates what’s possible when lawmakers work across the political aisle to put the public’s interests ahead of ideological differences. As she so simply put it: “This infrastructure package is good for America” — and for Maine.
Rep. Will Tuell