WASHINGTON, DC – Today, after President Joe Biden unveiled a new, comprehensive $2 trillion infrastructure investment package, known as the American Jobs Plan, that would help upgrade roads, bridges, ports, airports, railroads, mass-transit, schools, technology, affordable housing, clean energy and water, and more, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), a senior member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (THUD), and the author of the Reopen and Rebuild America’s Schools Act (S. 96), issued the following statement:

“This is a bold, forward-looking plan to upgrade the nation’s infrastructure and meet America’s growing transportation and technology needs now and in the future.  The scale of the investment is massive, but so is the need.  America must invest in greener, cleaner technologies that will help create jobs and lead America toward a brighter, more sustainable energy future that helps tackle climate change.  Indeed, our international competitors are investing heavily in new, modern infrastructure and a green economy.  I don’t think any lawmakers should be comfortable with a status quo where the Chinese government builds and invests in the future, while the U.S. doesn’t.

“The federal government can’t afford to ignore our nation’s infrastructure.  Every week should be infrastructure week until Congress rises to meet the challenge before us and make real improvements.  This plan will jumpstart the process and builds momentum for solving major challenges in a cost-effective way that creates jobs and puts people to work rebuilding America.

“I am pleased President Biden included a significant down payment on school infrastructure based on my Reopen and Rebuild America’s Schools Act to modernize classrooms across the country and help schools upgrade their physical and digital infrastructure.  This is a good start, and we need to do more.  Public schools are essential institutions -- they are foundational to our democracy and cornerstones of our economy.  They educate and prepare children to achieve their full potential and serve as community hubs.  Public schools are public infrastructure and this is a smart investment in raising student achievement, protecting public health, expanding opportunities, and creating good-paying jobs as we build for the future and work toward a brighter future for all.

“We can’t solve our infrastructure problems on the cheap and ignoring them will only make things worse.  We need better roads, bridges, and mass transit infrastructure, and we need to invest wisely, in a strategic, coordinated way that will strengthen our economy now and in the future.

“Investing in infrastructure should be a bipartisan priority.  Many Republicans said they’d be willing to support infrastructure upgrades under the Trump Administration and I hope they will do so now that President Biden has made it a priority.

“There is room for debate and improvement, including ensuring an investment in building, repairing, and modernizing our nation’s libraries, but there isn’t time to waste because the price of inaction now is crumbling infrastructure and steeper costs in the future.  I hope leaders on both sides of the aisle will work together in good faith to get the job done.  President Biden has put forth a concrete, comprehensive proposal and now it is time for Congress to get to work and help move the nation forward in a way that responsibly invests in communities and connects people to jobs and opportunities.”