tv U.S. House of Representatives U.S. House Debate on Infrastrucure Bill CSPAN September 29, 2021 2:32am-3:05am EDT
gentleman from oregon, mr. defazio and mr. graves have 10 minutes remaining, the chair recognizes the gentleman from oregon. mr. defazio: i yield one minute to the speaker of the house, the gentlelady from california, ms. nancy pelosi. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. the speaker: i thank the gentleman for yielding and more importantly thank him for his
tremendous leadership, his understanding of infrastructure in our country, the way to build it in a green way to honor our commitment to our children is something that is a blessing to the congress, for decades he has served on the transportation infrastructure committee and he has done so in a way that has taken us into the future. but we haven't had a bill in a while and so i thank him for his invest bill he had earlier that is not all reflected here but nonetheless hopefully we'll see some provisions in the build back better act. i rise in support of the bipartisanship infrastructure bill, the infrastructure investment and jobs act which is about jobs, jobs, jobs. support for this legislation is bipartisanship. bicameral, and respectful of the needs of workers and communities across the country. following the vision of
president biden, the bipartisanship amendment addresses a great need in america which has been neglected for decades. our roads, bridges and water systems are crumbling and some systems are over 100 years old, mr. speaker, made of brick and wood. our electric grid system is vulnerable to catastrophic outages. we must not only build the infrastructure for the 21st century economy, we must rebuild the middle class creating good-paying american jobs and turbocharging american competitiveness and growth. these are connected. these are connected. again, i thank again president biden. he said i'm happy to work in a bipartisanship way in order to have an infrastructure bill where we come to agreement. but i will not confine my vision to that legislative piece. we must build back better. and i think it's very important to note for people across the
country who have seen infrastructure in the past come in and divide their communities, perpetuate injustices, environmental injustice in their communities, that it is necessary for us to build back better in a way that empowers. and when i say build the middle class, it's about jobs but it's about jobs in a new way, more inclusive for women, people of color, for younger people to be engaged and trained with work force training to participate in the new economy with jobs and justice. in the past our infrastructure bills have reinforced that environmental injustice and divided communities. the build back better will undue that but the passive of this bill accompanied by the build back legislation with its equity piece, all of that -- much of that injustice, as much as possible, will be reversed. it's about building up, it's not about trickle down. this is what we're going to do
and a lot of people will benefit and maybe you'll get some of it. no. it's about meeting the needs of people, both with water needs and transportation needs, infrastructure needs in many ways but also the start and then build up. along with the build back better act, this prioritizes some aspects of justice and opportunity, helping ensure -- let me be clear, while the investments in the bipartisanship infrastructure bill are strong, historic down payment for build back better, we are not confining our vision as the president said, he's not confining his, for rebuilding infrastructure to this legislation. we all know that we have to build back in a responsible way to meet our green climate initiatives and our goals and our responsibilities in that regard. passing an infrastructure is
always exciting for what it means in terms of jobs and taking our country into the future. and it's always been bipartisanship over the years here. not for a while because there was resistance when president obama was president, we passed a bill but was not of this magnitude we needed. this is a step closer to a once in a generation investment in our infrastructure as the conference of mayors have said, and now we must go further to build back better. with that i urge a strong bipartisanship support for this legislation. and i yield back the balance of my time. #. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from missouri is recognized. >> at this time he'd yield one minute to the gentleman from michigan. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. speaker and for i had colleague's leadership on this extremely important issue. i want to expose for my
constituents the real truth about the so-called infrastructure portion of the democrats' destructive $5.5 trillion package. you can read for yourself in the bill that only a fraction of the funds go to roads, bridges, broadband, and other things people outside the swamp would generally consider infrastructure. a true and embarrassingly small drop in the bucket considering the current state of michigan infrastructure. mr. bergmann. by the way, our roads still haven't been fixed but i'm asking you to read between the lines to understand that this package will stretch the long intrusive arm of the federal government into your life, more than ever before. your energy bill, your taxes, your job, your nation's borders, your economic freedom. as your representative, i can't let this happen and i urge my colleagues to oppose this bill. with that i yield back.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from oregon is recognizeed. mr. defazio: i yield myself 30 second. will the gentleman conflates and confuses and conflabulates. it's a bill from the national with new spending on top of the expected income, it's not $3.5 trillion and doesn't include all those other things, roads, bridges, transit, wastewater, lead pipes, airport, and broadband which i think his constituents want. with that i yield three minutes to the majority whip, james clyburn. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. clyburn: thank you very much, mr. speaker, and mr. chairman, on your leadership on this very important piece of legislation. the infrastructure investment in jobs act will make chris cal investments, not just in roads and bridges but this legislation
will also invest in transit, rail, electric, vehicles, charging stations, electric buses, airports, ports, water, energy, environmental remediation and high speed broadband internet. i will focus on this last category, the $65 billion for broadband. millions of americans are not connected to the internet. in my home state of south carolina, nearly one in 10 households lack access to an internet connection and even more cannot afford service. as a result, they didn't work remotely and cannot access telehealth. the internet is as substantial to the 21st century as electricity was to the 20th
century and far too many americans are left out and why i work closely with the house rule broadband task force, chairman pallone and members of the energy and commerce committee to craft comprehensive legislation to make high speed broadband accessible and affordable for all. our bill passed the house last congas part of the movement forward act. as far as the legislation we're considering today doesn't include that deal in its entirety and more action will be required. it does incorporate many of our bill's essential principles and gives preference to future focus infrastructure, prioritizes persistent poverty counts and includes oversight and accountability mechanisms. the infrastructure investment act also invests in affordable and adoption -- affordability
and adoption. it requires an affordable option to be offered on newly funded networks, extends the monthly discount on internet bills and funds digital equity and inclusion projects. throughout our nation's history, communities in most need of federal funds have all too often been the last in line. together with the build back better act, the infrastructure investment and jobs act will make america's greatness accessible and affordable for all americans, and i urge passage of this legislation. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from oregon reserves, the gentleman from missouri is recognized? mr. graves: thank you, mr. speaker, at this time i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman reserves. the gentlemanfrom oregon is recognized. mr. defazio: i wish to yield one minute to the majority leader of the house, denny hoyer, from maryland. the speaker pro tempore: the majority leader is recognized. mr. hoyer: thank you, mr. speaker. first i want to thank probably the most knowledgeable member of the congress about infrastructure in this country and our needs, mr. defazio, the chairman of the transportation and infrastructure committee. he and his committee, mr. speaker, and members of his staff have worked very long and very late hours over the past two years, and frankly longer than that, going back to the 116th congress and the 11th congress to produce the legislation that served as a basis for this bipartisanship bill. i also want to thank chairman pallone and members of the staff
in the energy and commerce committee who contributed a debate deal as well. mr. speaker, during the course of the 2016 campaign, donald trump said he was going to invest $1 trillion in infrastructure. common : $1 trillion. in 2017 he became the president of the united states and in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, no trillion dollar infrastructure bill was offered to this house or to the congress. mr. degrees, other leaders -- mr. defazio, myself, speaker, other leaders went down and met with president trump. and mr. defazio was talking about $1 trillion that the president talked about. he really thought it was probably more needed but he's been talking about -- the president said, dismiss that. that's too little. it's not enough.
we need at least $2 trillion. president trump. 2019. # what we have before us today, mr. speaker, is a product that reflects the needs of our economy. an infrastructure system in dire need of upgrade and expansion. and addresses some but by no means all of the realities of the climate crisis we face. in fact, a bill which did a much better job passed this house led by mr. defazio. unfortunately, it was not subject to conference. which is what the process ought to be. however this bill will enable our businesses to seize on the opportunities presented by those challenges and to create millions of good new jobs in the process. i thank mr. defazio for his leadership and advocacy. we have before us legislation
that lynn vest more than $1 trillion in transportation networks. half of what president trump said we ought to be doing. but a very, very significant step nonetheless. expanding broadband access and addressing climate change and helping our communities build back better and more resilient. it would enact a major component of president biden's build back better agenda. this is part and parcel of the whole. this is a segment. of what the president has rightfully called generational transformative change. i hope we can come together and pass this legislation, mr. speaker, with strong support from democrats and republicans. the republicans have been browbeaten into opposing this bill. not because of substantive reasons, but for political reasons. so that joe biden, president biden will not have a victory.
but that perspective is incorrect. the people who will not have a victory are the american people. i hope we come together, as i said, to pass this legislation. in a bipartisan fashion to help our businesses and working families make it in america. i use those words on purpose because i have been talking about make it in america for over a decade. i have been proud for many years to lead house democrats make it in america plan for jobs and opportunities. a plan with three core components. infrastructure, this bill. education, the bill to come. although this has significant training in here for workers to get good jobs and good-paying jobs. a plan with also another core,
that is entrepreneurship. infrastructure has been central to our make it in america plan since i first put it on the table in 2010. that's because momentum has been building for these investments and infrastructure for many, many years. then candidate joe biden called me up and said i want to talk to you about make it in america. we talked about it. and it is in our democratic platform, make it in america. i don't know anybody that's not for making it in america. either manufacturing it, even if it's zeros and ones, and succeeding, making it in america. businesses, labor, economists, and state and local leaders have been clamoring for congress to do exactly what we are about to do today in this vote. when i say exactly, they would like more. i think they would have liked the house bill. mr. defazio's bill, much better.
but none of us get perfect. and this is a bipartisan bill. our make it in america plan is called for multiyear, fully funded authorizations to address the backlog of projects both for transportation and for water infrastructure. that's what mr. defazio has been leading on. this bill includes a five year, $110 billion authorization for highway, roads, and bridges. $39 billion for transit. $55 billion in water infrastructure. to literally get the lead out and make our water safe to drink. calls for making our electricity grid more resilient and reliable. which we included in make it in america. this bill invests $78 billion to do exactly that and creates new grid deployment authority. a new grid deployment authority to promote innovation and smart grid technologies. that's about our national security.
that is a national security demand on us. in the make it in america agenda we challenge congress to promote a modern energy infrastructure that reduces waste and incentives, storage -- incentivize storage and alternative forms of energy for vehicles. that's what mr. defazio did in the bill that we passed. and it is not as well, i think, but that's what's in this bill. the $7.5 billion included in this legislation for building electric vehicle charging infrastructure in america, particularly in rural disadvantaged and hard to reach community meets that challenge. that's why 40% of the republicans in the united states senate voted for it. when house democrats traveled across the country listening to the american people over the last few years, we have heard of what they need to make it in america. we heard about the need to
expand access to high speed internet, including deployment of 5g wireless infrastructure. that's what mr. defazio did and that's what this senate bill does. this bill achieves those goals by including $65 billion to bring broadband access to nearly all meshes by auctioning new spectrum for 5g wireless. that's what whip clyburn was talking about. making sure that all of us can make it in america because we have access to that internet. it's also about education. we have called for reforms, stackable credentials for students preparing for the work force and those already in the work force looking to get ahead by learning new skills. this bill before us includes provision that is provides states with flexibility and how they use funding to strengthen work force development. we all talk about that. help more people train for in demand skills such as
engineering. in so many ways the bipartisan infrastructure investment in jobs act is a product of house democrats, mr. defazio, mr. scott, mr. pallone, mr. neal, and, yes, many, many republicans who have also talked about making it in america. we have been united in promoting this agenda for 10 years. now we have the chance to affect a large portion of it. trump, mr. trump talked about it, he just didn't do it. this legislation, of course, is just one half of the larger effort as i said by president biden and democrats to achieve that objective of helping our people make it in america. the other piece is the build back better act. that legislation, which is progressing steadily towards consideration on the floor, would enact the remairnd of president biden and democrats' domestic agenda, including major efforts to address the climate crisis and reforms that will
help millions of american families achieve economic security. we talk about being prolife. profamily. that is profamily. childcare is profamily. earned income tax credit is pro-family. expanding medicaid is pro-family. so much. if we are pro-family, we need to support those items. while the bipartisan infrastructure investment and jobs act makes investments towards tackling the climate crisis, the build back better act will take the steps needed to transition our economy to clean energy in line with the president's commitment to the paris climate agreement and mr. defazio's bill we passed through this house. with this legislation today invest in our nation's physical infrastructure, the build back better act makes investment in america's human infrastructure.
you know, when gi to a building and we cut a ribbon or some base or whatever, i say, that's very nice. very nice. this physical structure. but if we build great bricks and mortar but don't have people who can do the job, we build in vain. in our working families, in our communities, that's what we invest in. in opportunities for hardworking americans to get ahead. removing steadily ahead with that bell and i'm hopeful we are nearing the finish line. i look forward to bringing that bill, the build back better act to the floor soon. mr. speaker, i believe democrats will demonstrate unity on both pieces of legislation as we put president biden and quongal a -- congressional democrats agenda into action. let's get it done. vote yes. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yield back. the gentleman from oregon reserves. the gentleman from missouri is recognized. >> thank you, mr. speaker.
at this time i yield -- reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from oregon is recognized. mr. defazio: i reserve. i have the right to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is correct. the gentleman has the right to close. does the gentleman from missouri have any -- mr. graves: we are prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. graves: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, this body could and should have worked together in a bipartisan -- on bipartisan legislation to improve our roads and bridges, waste water infrastructure, and other vital infrastructure components. instead, the majority preferred to put us through a very highly partisan messaging exercise. and for what? the majority leader's grossly mismanaged process. i have no doubt that they thought that their my way or the highway approach reflected all of their progressive priorities. and they were mighty proud of
it. but it led to the house both republicans and democrats, being completely sidelined in this process. we knew this was -- we knew that this was the most likely outcome. i want to highlight two key points. the first one is that today's legislation is one of the largest infrastructure bills ever before the house. but because the speaker's mismanagement of this entire process, the house failed to be taken seriously and failed to have any input into this bill. the second point is that this bill is a trojan horse for reconciliation. we all know that. voting for this bill is a vote for speaker pelosi's $3.5 trillion spending spree. and there is no way to separate the two. even the speaker acknowledges this and many others as well. lost among all of these poor decisions is the absolute necessity to address america's real infrastructure needs.
i firmly believe that the work we do on the transportation and infrastructure committee is critical to the economy and to the lives of all americans. and if the house process was bipartisan from the very start, this conversation would have been much, much different. here we are. instead of zeroing in on real infrastructure, the majority is talking about spending trillions and trillions of dollars on everything that they can think of. and i have to ask, when does it end? with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yield back. the gentleman from oregon is recognized. mr. defazio: all time has expired on that side at this time point. the speaker pro tempore: gentlemen. mr. defazio: i yield myself the remaining time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. defazio: we could have perhaps had a bipartisan bill out of the house except for the unified rejection of climate change on the other side of the aisle. transportation is the large
largest single emitter of co-2 compleution pleution in the country. this is a critical -- co-2 pollution in this country. this is a critical problem in our country. the bill would have dealt with that and moved us into 21st century infrastructure. this bill contains some of those elements, even the republicans on this side would not support. e.v. charging. nope. not in their bill. electric buss, nope. not in their bus. electric school buss, nope. not in their bill. none of those things were in their bill. in fact, their bill, which they offered the only alternative, which they didn't even offer on the floor by the way, because they don't have an alternative. was $350 billion for highways, status quo, with a increase in spending, no changes in policy, except for the rodney davis
thing, in the senate bill, that got nepa. and then transit flat lined over five years. rail? zero. goose egg. zero. no waste water, no reconnecting communities, no drinking water, no lead pipes, and by the way, every billion we spend on wastewater or drinking water creates 20,000 good-paying jobs. no broadband in their bill. . the list goes on and on and we don't have a good alternative on that side of the aisle. and should they help to vote this down, they oppose it, then, you know, they have no answer. the answer is continuing resolution, status quo funding, flat funding, not dealing with the 400,000 bridges in america that need substantial repair or
replacement. the 40% of the national highway system, which has deteriorated to the point it has to be rebuilt from the road bed up and the $100 billion backlog in transit and the rail system, just had an accident and people died and they'll put zero in their bill and the wastewater, backup into basements or flow into rivers. and water mains that burst. you know, we have to deal with these things. it didn't used to be partisan. the problem is we also believe in dealing with climate change and they can't admit to climate change because donald trump says it's a myth and you can't defy donald trump on that side of the aisle. it's very, very sad. 59 least these 19 republican senators nodded towards it, they included money for e.b. charging, electric buses in the bill, at least a tiny nod.
they did take out our mandatory green gas program and our critical fix it first principles but we will improve on the bill with new novel programs in the reconciliation process yet to come and deal with some of those issues, deal with the greenhouse gas, greenhouse gas reductions, deal with more transit, more rail, more wastewater in different ways, drinking water, lead pipes, all those things will be in the reconciliation bill yet to come. plain and simple, the bill before us today is the infrastructure bill, the only option. i'd like to thank all my staff. there's too many to list in the time i have remaining, so i'm going to ask unanimous consent to put that list in the record. they did an absolutely phenomenal job putting this whole package together, twice, two congresses, real legislative process on this side of the hill even though the republicans lost, they participated in the process.