U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright (PA-08) today voted to pass the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the largest job-creating investment in our infrastructure in nearly 100 years. It passed the House today by a vote of 228-206. Having already passed the Senate, it advances to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law.
“This once in a century infrastructure investment will create good paying jobs and make us more competitive with every other country in the world,” said Rep. Cartwright. “These investments will make it possible for us to put Northeastern Pennsylvania back on the passenger rail map, rebuild the roads and bridges that have been falling apart, bring high-speed broadband internet to every rural area, reclaim and revitalize all of our abandoned mine lands and so much more. After years of talk about passing an infrastructure bill, I’m proud to finally help deliver this investment in rebuilding and strengthening the foundations of our economy.”
Highlights from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act
This bill authorizes the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system. According to the White House, Pennsylvania is estimated to receive $11.3 billion for federal-aid highway apportioned programs and $1.6 billion for bridge replacement and repairs over five years.
It provides $66 billion for Amtrak to improve existing lines and expand service to new areas. Amtrak’s 2021 expansion plan included three round trips between Scranton, PA and New York City and estimated that this new service would generate $87 million in annual economic activity, plus $2.9 billion from one-time investments.
According to the White House, Pennsylvania will receive an estimated $100 million to help provide broadband coverage across the state, including for the at least 394,000 Pennsylvanians who currently do not have it.
Important for Pennsylvania, which has more unreclaimed abandoned mine land (AML) acreage than any state in the nation, this bill reauthorizes the AML Trust Fund and invests an additional $11.3 billion in reclamation and cleanup efforts. With Pennsylvania representing 40.7 percent of the United States’ reclamation costs, the Commonwealth would be slated to receive more than $4.5 billion from this fund, which would support the reclamation of every unfinished AML site in Pennsylvania.
Given that a major portion of unreclaimed AML sites in Pennsylvania are in the northeastern region, an estimated $1.2 billion from this fund would come back to the area. This is a critical investment that will create jobs, pave the way for new economic development, protect drinking water and clean up pollution.
According to a recent report by IHS Markit, funding for road and transit projects in Pennsylvania will grow the Commonwealth’s economy by an additional $3.5 billion each year for the next five years.
Additionally, the growth produced by these investments is estimated to boost Pennsylvanians’ disposable income by $1.35 billion each year for the next five years.
A full fact sheet on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is HERE. A Pennsylvania fact sheet is HERE.