Infrastructure

Ag Groups Pleased With Passage of Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

Dan Environment, Legislative

Infrastructure
Image by torstensimon from Pixabay

The U.S. House of Representatives did pass H.R. 3684, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). It is a bipartisan infrastructure package focused on creating millions of American jobs, rebuilding our nation’s roads and bridges, and combatting the climate crisis.

Many in agriculture were pleased with passage of the legislation and now look forward to the bill going to President Biden for his signature.


Statement by President Joe Biden on the House Passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

November 06, 2021

Tonight, we took a monumental step forward as a nation.

The United States House of Representatives passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a once-in-generation bipartisan infrastructure bill that will create millions of jobs, turn the climate crisis into an opportunity, and put us on a path to win the economic competition for the 21st Century.

It will create good-paying jobs that can’t be outsourced. Jobs that will transform our transportation system with the most significant investments in passenger and freight rail, roads, bridges, ports, airports, and public transit in generations.

This will make it easier for companies to get goods to market more quickly and reduce supply chain bottlenecks now and for decades to come. This will ease inflationary pressures and lower costs for working families.

The bill will create jobs replacing lead water pipes so every family can drink clean water.

It will make high-speed internet affordable and available everywhere in America.

This bill will make historic and significant strides that take on the climate crisis. It will build out the first-ever national network of electric vehicle charging stations across the country. We will get America off the sidelines on manufacturing solar panels, wind farms, batteries, and electric vehicles to grow these supply chains, reward companies for paying good wages and for sourcing their materials from here in the United States, and allow us to export these products and technologies to the world.

It will also make historic investments in environmental clean-up and remediation, and build up our resilience for the next superstorms, droughts, wildfires, and hurricanes that cost us billions of dollars in damage each year.

I’m also proud that a rule was voted on that will allow for passage of my Build Back Better Act in the House of Representatives the week of November 15th.

The Build Back Better Act will be a once-in-a-generation investment in our people.

It will lower bills for healthcare, child care, elder care, prescription drugs, and preschool. And middle-class families get a tax cut.

This bill is also fiscally responsible, fully paid for, and doesn’t raise the deficit. It does so by making sure the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations begin to pay their fair share and doesn’t raise taxes a single cent on anyone making less than $400,000 per year. 

I look forward to signing both of these bills into law.

Generations from now, people will look back and know this is when America won the economic competition for the 21st Century.

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The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture praised the passage of the IIJA by the U.S. House of Representatives. In a release NASDA CEO Ted McKinney said:

“We can all recognize the importance of a thriving U.S. agriculture industry to all people, and today’s actions will connect more individuals to American grown products and provide financial sustainability for farming and ranching businesses.”

Improving infrastructure and capacity for rural communities is a priority policy issue for state departments of agriculture.

More than 26 percent of rural Americans lack access to broadband services compared to less than two percent of urban Americans according to the Federal Communications Commission. NASDA members also recognized significant funding is needed to improve the rural roads, highways, waterways and railways necessary for the agricultural community to deliver their commodities and products around the world.”


The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) also applauded passage of the IIJA. ARA President and CEO Daren Coppock released the following statement:

“We are glad the House was finally able to come together and pass this critical piece of legislation. Investment in infrastructure has long been a priority for ARA, and we will continue to work to ensure the needs of ag retailers, their farmer customers, and all of rural America are met. We are encouraged that the president will sign this immediately.

“ARA is strongly opposed to the House’s Build Back Better bill. The tax increases included in this plan would not only counteract any economic recovery but also result in steep cost increases for consumers.”


Farm Credit Council President and CEO Todd Van Hoose made the following statement on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passing in the House:

“Farm Credit thanks President Biden and bipartisan congressional leaders for their tremendous efforts to deliver the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and its much-needed resources to rural communities and agriculture.

“Critical investments in rural broadband will connect more communities, improvements in rural water systems will keep rural families safe, and rebuilding rural roads, bridges, freight rail, inland waterways and ports will bring our nation’s agricultural products to a global marketplace. 

“We commend policymakers for passing this historic bill that recognizes rural America’s unique infrastructure needs, creates rural jobs and makes our rural communities more vital places to live and work.”


Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack released the following statement following passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act by the U.S. Congress.

“This is a transformative, historic investment for America as President Biden delivers on his promise to rebuild the physical infrastructure of our country, grow the economy for decades to come, create good-paying, union jobs, and better position us to compete in a global economy.

tom vilsack
Tom Vilsack

“As we make significant progress in closing the digital divide and delivering 21st century broadband, farmers will have access to real-time information and new technologies needed to maintain their competitive edge, small businesses will be able to develop their markets, and rural communities can become better connected to jobs, telemedicine, and distance learning.

“As we repair crumbling roads and bridges and make much-needed investments in our ports, waterways, and rail transit, we will connect agriculture and rural communities to more markets and more economic opportunity. Upgraded power infrastructure, environmental remediation, and clean and safe drinking water will power and revitalize communities historically left behind.

“As we invest in green infrastructure, we will preserve our lands and natural resources and the outdoor recreation opportunities they provide for so many Americans. At the same time, we will respond to the climate crisis by increasing community resiliency and conducting critical work on our farms and in our forests to mitigate wildfires, support farmers and ranchers grappling with drought, and improve watersheds and water supply in the West.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to build up rural America with wealth that stays in rural communities, jobs you can raise a middle-class family on, and the ability to compete around the world. I’m thankful to those in Congress who drove this bipartisan legislation over the finish line, and to President Biden for his leadership for America’s working families. Now, let’s get to work and see to it that the benefits of modern infrastructure reach every corner of country.”


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The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is also pleased with passage of the legislation. NCGA notes it includes funding important to corn growers, including $17.3 billion for the nation’s ports and inland waterways and $2 billion specifically for rural broadband access. New spending in the bill is paid for through unused Covid relief funds, bonds and extensions of various government fees, and the bill does not include tax increases for individuals or farms.

NCGA President Chris Edgington said, “We are pleased to see the House act on this legislation which was developed in a bipartisan manner and allocates funding for initiatives that are extremely important to corn growers and rural America. This is a once in a generation infrastructure investment that will help farmers for years to come.”


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Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) senior vice president of government and industry relations Kip Eideberg issued the following statement on the passage of the historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

“Tonight’s vote represents a win for bipartisanship and a once-in-a-generation investment in the future of our country. We salute this rare and historic bipartisan victory for the 2.8 million men and women of the equipment manufacturing industry. It will make us more competitive, more prosperous, and more equitable as a nation. Equipment manufacturers have long criticized the partisan rancor and division that has undermined much-needed investments in our future. The lawmakers who put country first and voted in favor of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act have demonstrated real leadership and a commitment to our nation’s renewal.”