ND senators vote for infrastructure bill
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Kevin Cramer and John Hoeven, both R-ND, issued statements regarding their support for the $550 billion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, passed by the Senate Tuesday.
Cramer, the ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure, stated, “America’s infrastructure is a worthwhile investment we can’t afford to ignore. The bill we passed today will provide over $2 billion to North Dakota for its roads, bridges, rail, broadband, carbon capture efforts and orphaned wells cleanup projects, all while making meaningful permitting reforms and reducing bureaucratic hurdles. It pays people to work instead of giving them handouts to stay home, and it includes smart reforms so taxpayer dollars are used more efficiently and unspent COVID-19 relief funds are repurposed for productive activity.”
Cramer urged the House to take up the bill and send it to the president’s desk “so we can deliver a significant, bipartisan win for the American people.”
“The legislation includes responsible pay-fors, including repurposing COVID relief dollars and importantly it does not raise taxes,” Hoeven said. “The Senate could either advance this bipartisan legislation that does not increase taxes, or let the Democrats add more spending with tax increases to their upcoming $3.5 trillion spending spree. I also believe passing this bipartisan traditional infrastructure bill will make it harder for Democrats to pass their $3.5 trillion tax-and-spend bill, which I strongly oppose.”
Infrastructure priorities for North Dakota in the bill include $2.5 billion for flood mitigation projects across the country, which would help with Red River Valley and Minot regional flood protection.
The bill provides $12 billion for research on Carbon Utilization, Utilization, and Storage, including for carbon capture large-scale pilot projects and carbon capture demonstration projects as well as loan assistance for infrastructure. It includes the REGROW Act, legislation introduced by Cramer and co-sponsored by Hoeven, to plug and remediate the nation’s orphaned wells.
It provides $1.9 billion over five years for North Dakota’s roads, bridges, and highways, about $600 million more than North Dakota received over 5 years under the FAST Act. It authorizes more than $200 million for North Dakota through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund program and the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.
The bill includes the DRIVE-Safe Act, establishing a pilot program to alleviate a trucker shortage by allowing 18-20-year-olds to obtain a commercial driver’s license and truck goods across state lines. The included HAULS Act provides relief to livestock haulers by expanding the hours-of-service agricultural exemption to exclude a 150 air-mile radius around the destination of the trip.