As Part of Bipartisan Group that Drafted the Senate-Passed Landmark Legislation, Rosen Played a Leading Role in Writing Sections on Broadband and Airports and Ensuring Support for Travel and Tourism
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the bipartisan Senate infrastructure working group, released the following statement after voting to pass the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. In her statement, Senator Rosen highlighted the wins she was able to secure for Nevada in the bipartisan legislation.
“I’m proud to see that our bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act has passed the United States Senate,” said Senator Rosen. “This comprehensive and critical legislation will allow us to make historic investments in our communities through infrastructure. The bill, which includes the text of 3 of my bills and numerous other provisions I spearheaded, would take major steps to support our traditional infrastructure – roads and bridges, rail, and transit – and also invest in forward-thinking cybersecurity and energy infrastructure to support our nation’s future, creating new jobs and building up our communities in the process.”
“Throughout this process, I have been a voice for Nevada, ensuring that this bill uniquely benefits our state and addresses issues that matter most to our state including steps to address the water crisis, increase broadband connectivity, and provide funding to improve and expand our airports,” Senator Rosen continued. “As was made clear over the last year, fast, reliable access to the internet is critical to our daily lives. The broadband section of the bill, which I co-wrote, would make broadband access more available and more affordable, connecting communities across Nevada and all over the U.S. Additionally, a separate section of the bill I co-wrote would provide funding for our nation’s airports, allowing for key construction, expansion, upgrade, and repair projects. These investments will better connect our state to the nation and the world, allowing Nevada’s travel and tourism industries to soar once again.”
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 to Support Mobilization (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; and
- A Rosen-led bipartisan amendment adopted on the Senate floor that adds wildfires as a specified damage for which federal assistance from the National Highway Performance Program may be used to rebuild damaged highways
Among many others, the bill includes the following provisions to benefit Nevada:
- ROADS, BRIDGES, & HIGHWAYS: $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.
- TRANSIT: $39 billion of new investment to modernize transit and improve accessibility.
- WATER: $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.