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House Sends Major Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill to the President’s Desk

November 5, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Late Friday night, Rep. Peter Welch voted in the House to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a $1 trillion investment in America’s roads, bridges, drinking water, public transit, and broadband. The bill will help communities close the digital divide, ensure roads are safer and water is cleaner, and create a greener and more resilient transportation sector. The bill passed the Senate in August and will now be sent to President Biden to sign into law.

"This bill will finally deliver the resources needed to repair America's failing infrastructure and invest in our rural communities, bringing affordable high-speed internet to all homes and businesses,” Welch said. “The pandemic has highlighted what we have known in Vermont for a long time – broadband is no longer a luxury service but an essential one. The more than $100 million that Vermont will receive from this bill will finally help close the digital divide that has left so many of our rural communities and families behind. These broadband funds combined with the long-overdue investments to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure will help create safer, greener, and stronger communities.”

As a founding member and Co-Chair of the Rural Broadband Caucus, Rep. Welch has championed rural broadband deployment throughout his career in the House. Some of the broadband provisions in this bill, including the $100 million state minimum provision, are similar to Rep. Welch’s Connect America Act, which he introduced earlier this year.

The U.S. Department of Commerce will be the lead federal agency to implement the broadband provisions in the bill.

“I want to thank Representative Welch for his hard work passing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act,” said Secretary Gina Raimondo. “For too long we’ve neglected investments in critical areas that directly impact American workers, American businesses, and American families. One of the many historic investments in this bill is the effort to bridge the digital divide and ensure all Americans have access to reliable, affordable broadband. Broadband is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. Thanks to President Biden’s vision and the Congressman’s tireless effort to get this passed, we can now bring affordable broadband to every community in Vermont.”

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill addresses critical needs throughout Vermont by funding infrastructure projects, including many of Rep. Welch's key priorities. The bill provides Vermont with: 

  • $1.4 billion for federal-aid highway programs over five years.
  • $225 million for bridge replacement and repairs over five years.
  • $21 million to expand Vermont's electric vehicle charging network over five years.
  • At least $100 million to deploy advanced broadband throughout the state. 
  • $77 million to improve and expand public transportation over five years.
  • $355 million to improve water infrastructure over five years.
  • $150 million for the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC).

A fact sheet on the bill can be found here.

The House also took a step forward to advance the Build Back Better Act, President Biden’s nearly $2 trillion economic security bill, to care for families, address climate change, and expand affordable healthcare. The House is expected to vote on final passage of the Build Back Better Act in the coming weeks.