In a strong bipartisan vote Tuesday 69-30, the Senate advanced the bipartisan infrastructure bill and sent it back to the House. The INVEST in America law spends about $ 1,000 billion, including $ 110 billion on roads and bridges, $ 65 billion to expand broadband access, and $ 17 billion on ports and waterways.
In the days leading up to the vote, the American Farm Bureau Federation along with members of the Agricultural Transportation Task Force urged lawmakers to support the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which would increase infrastructure spending by $ 550 billion over five years.
“A comprehensive transport infrastructure bill, while popular, has long been elusive,” agricultural transport groups say in an Aug. 6 letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. The groups note that investments in transport infrastructure are necessary and, in many cases, overdue.
Following the affirmative vote, Mike Seyfert, President and CEO of the National Grain and Feed Association, member of ATW, said: and global markets. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will improve the efficient and cost-effective transportation of agriculture and food products, which will translate into substantial contributions and opportunities for U.S. economic growth and commerce.
Seyfert adds: “This bipartite agreement also includes a number of necessary and overdue arrangements designed to strengthen the resilience of the agricultural supply chain, including investments in cybersecurity and a pilot learning program to address the shortage of agricultural products. nationwide truck drivers, ”Seyfert said.
Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, also wrote to all members of the Senate to urge passage, adding that the package includes several provisions designed to strengthen the resilience of farms, ranches and rural communities.
After the vote, Duvall greeted the passage. “The pressing infrastructure issues facing our country are too important to ignore, especially in rural communities where modernization is desperately needed. “
“Expanding digital access to rural America is just as important as paved roads and strong bridges. Increased funding to bring broadband to the hundreds of thousands of farms that currently lack internet access will help farmers meet the demands of a growing world while using emerging technologies to build on best practices smart about the climate, ”said Duvall.
There have been serious concerns that Congress could turn to farmers to help pay for the infrastructure plan, including making changes to the strengthened base, which could impose devastating tax burdens. Fortunately, Duvall says it’s not in the cards at the moment.
“We thank the Senate for seeking solutions while preserving important tax provisions that allow farmers to pass the family business to the next generation,” said Duvall.
With nearly two-thirds of the West experiencing extreme or exceptional drought conditions and more than 90 active forest fires in the United States, a national coalition representing thousands of farmers, ranchers, water providers, Western businesses and communities stressed the importance of the Senate’s passage of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and urged the House to reflect water provisions in its own infrastructure package.
“With drought conditions continuing to worsen across the West, now is the time to invest and make timely improvements to our country’s water management portfolio. The various investments in water infrastructure in the West and our national forests included in this package will help farmers, ranchers, service providers and rural communities affected by wildfires, water scarcity and evolution. hydrology, ”said California Farm Bureau President Jamie Johansson.
To meet the critical water supply needs of the West, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provides more than $ 8 billion to repair aging dams and canals; construct new surface and groundwater storage and transport facilities; finance water conservation and recycling projects; and improve watershed management and improve ecosystems.
It is important to note that the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act aligns with the solutions that Western water managers have been asking for for years and provides a balanced set of tools from which local and regional managers can. choose to best solve the water needs and challenges in their local communities.
“The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will improve the efficient and cost-effective transportation of agriculture and food products, which will translate into substantial contributions and opportunities for US economic growth and commerce,” said Duvall.