U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the bipartisan Senate infrastructure working group, spoke on the Senate floor in support of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, legislation she and the group drafted that is being considered on the Senate floor this week.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the bipartisan Senate infrastructure working group, spoke on the Senate floor in support of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, legislation she and the group drafted that is being considered on the Senate floor this week. In her remarks, Senator Rosen highlighted the major investments that this bipartisan bill would make in infrastructure projects in Nevada and across the United States.

“Our bipartisan bill will be the most significant investment in American infrastructure since we built the interstate highway system,” said Senator Rosen. “I know that for my state – for Nevada – these investments will make a real difference. In Nevada, that means meeting the needs of a growing population and making our state accessible to visitors who contribute to our economy and support job-creating businesses. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act meets that need, providing growing, Western states like Nevada critical funding for surface transportation investments. And through the bill’s investments in western water systems, we can transport water across communities and develop water recycling and reuse projects that will go a long way toward providing greater access to water, something that is especially needed as my state, and many others, deal with the current, historic drought.”

“This bill includes investments that will uniquely benefit Nevada now and for years to come, by increasing access to broadband and upgrading our state's airports, two sections of the legislation I took a leading role in drafting,” Senator Rosen continued. “Our state's broadband disparity limits many Nevadans – from rural and tribal communities to underserved areas in our larger cities – from using even the most basic internet services. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will bring broadband to communities that have long gone without access. It makes an unprecedented investment in building out broadband infrastructure. Never before has Congress taken such a bold step to get Americans connected. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will also help support a key industry in the Silver State – travel and tourism. It does so by providing much-needed funding for airports to expand and upgrade their terminals and facilities. As we prepare for a post-pandemic world, these critical investments will allow us to bring in travelers and tourists in even greater numbers; and as they come, these visitors will support our state’s local businesses, boosting our communities and our economy. Through the investments provided by this bill, Nevada's travel and tourism industry can soar once more.”

“With the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, we can rebuild and revamp our infrastructure, create good-paying jobs, and improve lives. I urge all of my colleagues to choose to make this investment with us, join us in investing in our families, in our communities, in our states, and in our country’s future,” Senator Rosen concluded.

BACKGROUND: The following full sections of the infrastructure bill were co-written by Rosen:

  • BROADBAND $65 billion in overall investment to make broadband available and affordable.
    • $42.45 billion for state broadband deployment grants to connect unserved and underserved communities to high-speed internet (built to at least 100/20 Mbps), which includes a Rosen-drafted provision prioritizing contractors with a record of compliance with labor and employment laws;
    • $14.2 billion for an Affordable Connectivity Program providing $30/month benefit for households up to 200% of the poverty line;
    • $1 billion for creating middle-mile connections to build a high-speed backbone to facilitate last-mile connections to communities, businesses, and anchor institutions like schools/libraries;
    • $2.75 billion for digital equity;
    • $2 billion for USDA rural broadband;
    • $2 billion for Tribal broadband; and
    • $600 million for Private Activity Bonds.
  • AIRPORTS: $25 billion in overall investment for airport infrastructure.
    • $15 billion in flexible spending to allow airports to fund their key construction, expansion, upgrade, and repair projects;
    • $5 billion for Airport Terminal Program to allow bigger airports to access larger amounts of money in order to build their higher cost terminal projects; and
    • $5 billion for upgrades to Air Traffic Control facilities.

The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act includes the text of three of Senator Rosen’s bills.

  • The Middle Mile Broadband Deployment Act, which funds critical broadband infrastructure to connect internet carriers to local networks and community institutions to increase broadband access to unserved and underserved communities;
  • The bipartisan Travel Optimization by Updating and Revitalizing Infrastructure (TOURISM) Act, which requires the Department of Transportation to update its National Travel and Tourism Infrastructure Strategic Plan to develop an immediate-term and long-term strategy for using infrastructure investments to revive the travel and tourism economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic; and
  • The bipartisan Cyber Sense Act, which creates a voluntary program at DOE to test the cybersecurity of products and technologies intended for use in the bulk power system.

The bill also includes the following Rosen-led or backed efforts:

  • A $42.45 billion state broadband deployment grant program to connect unserved and underserved communities to reliable, high-speed internet via last-mile infrastructure, co-written by Rosen and based on the Collins-Rosen American Broadband Buildout Act and Cornyn-Manchin-Collins Rosen American Broadband Buildout to Eliminate the Digital Divide Act;
  • The Murkowski-Manchin-Risch-King-Rosen Protecting Resources On The Electric grid with Cybersecurity Technology (PROTECT) Act, which enhances electric grid security by incentivizing electric utilities to make cybersecurity investments and establishes a Department of Energy (DOE) grant and technical assistance program to deploy advanced cybersecurity technology for utilities not regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
  • Two Rosen-drafted provisions to support travel and tourism – one making “increasing tourism opportunities” a primary selection criteria for the Department of Transportation (DOT) when choosing which local and regional surface transportation proposals to fund; and one requiring DOT to assess its ability to evaluate travel and tourism needs when awarding federal grants.

Among many others, the bill includes the following provisions to benefit Nevada:

  • $110 billion in new nationwide funds for roads, bridges, and major projects, and a reauthorization of the surface transportation program for the next five years
    • $40 billion in new funding for bridge repair, replacement, and rehabilitation.
    • $11 billion in transportation safety programs.
  • $39 billion of new investment to modernize transit and improve accessibility.
  • $8.3 billion in overall investment for western Water systems.
    • $1 billion for water recycling and reuse projects.
    • $300 million for implementing the Colorado River Basin Drought Contingency Plan
      • The Drought Contingency Plan is a 7-state agreement – which includes Nevada – to avoid catastrophic water supply shortages in the western United States, and is the result of a years-long, state-driven process conducted during the previous and current federal administrations.
      • Senator Rosen was an original cosponsor of the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan Authorization Act, which was signed into law 2019. It directed the Secretary of the Interior to execute and carry out the Colorado River Drought Contingency Management and Operations.
    • $250 million for design, study, and construction of aquatic ecosystem restoration and protection projects
    • $50 million for endangered species recovery and conservation programs in the Colorado River Basin.

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