Common Ground profiles members of opposing parties who are working together to advance issues important to hoteliers.
In recent years, the topic of America’s infrastructure investment has frequented the halls of Congress and the White House. Crumbling bridges, contaminated water systems, and outdated power grids, just to name a few, are commonplace in the United States. Multiple events showcasing the state of the country’s infrastructure in the past decade, such as the contaminated drinking water in Flint, MI, or the power crisis in Texas, have spurred Congressional interest in infrastructure investment. President Biden has adopted infrastructure investment and reform as a key pillar of his presidential agenda, working throughout 2021 to sell both Congress and the American public on historic investments into the country’s infrastructure.
In June of 2021, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) was introduced in the House of Representatives. Congress extensively debated and amended the bill in the House and Senate. On Aug. 10, 2021, the Senate passed an amended version of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act by a bipartisan majority of 69-30, with 19 Republicans joining Democrats to support the bill. The House debated the measure again in September and postponed the vote until November. On Nov. 5, 2021, the House passed the IIJA with a vote of 228-206. President Biden signed the IIJA on Nov. 15, 2021. The IIJA passed through Congress on a bipartisan basis with 50 Senate Democrats, 19 Senate Republicans, 215 House Democrats, and 13 House Republicans voting in favor of the $1.2-trillion bill.
Rep. Peter A. DeFazio (D-OR-04), Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
“Today, President Biden is making history by signing into law the largest investment in America’s infrastructure in a generation. This historic law will help address the climate crisis, create good-paying jobs, and boost American competitiveness by upgrading our roads, bridges, rail, transit, drinking water, and wastewater infrastructure. I’m proud of the role the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee played in setting a high bar for this legislation. I look forward to working with the Biden administration as we began to implement this law and get these much-needed funds out the door as quickly as possible because communities can’t afford to wait.”
Rep. John Katko (R-NY-24), Member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
“During the past four years, I served as co-chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus Infrastructure Working Group and successfully developed a consensus-driven proposal that served as the basis for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. In August, the Senate passed this measure with support from 19 Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. And last week, this measure passed the House with my support.”