Pallone’s opening remarks at the LIFT America Act Committee of the Whole Legislative Hearing – YubaNet
Washington, DC March 22, 2021 – Energy and Trade Committee Chair Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) delivered the following opening remarks, prepared for delivery today at a full legislative hearing of the committee titled “LIFT America: Revitalizing our Nation’s Infrastructure and Economy: »
Today we are starting the process of rebuilding and revitalizing our economy by modernizing our country’s infrastructure. Over the past year, we have seen the devastating results of inaction: major power outages, water cuts, stretched health care facilities and communities left behind due to the digital divide. .
The LIFT America Act, which was introduced last week by the 32 Democrats on the Committee, will help rebuild a better economy. It is investing a total of $ 312 billion in clean and efficient energy, safe water, expanded broadband access, brownfield cleanup and improved health care infrastructure in our country.
This legislation will serve as a model for moving forward, and it gives us the opportunity to work together in a bipartisan fashion to deliver a robust and comprehensive infrastructure package. I hope we can work together to find bipartisan solutions – after all, there are a lot of bipartite provisions included in this comprehensive bill.
The LIFT America Act will help us fight the climate crisis by investing more than $ 69 billion in clean energy and energy efficiency. We include funding to modernize our electricity grid to accommodate more renewable energy and make it more resilient, funding to help rapidly deploy new technologies to reduce emissions, and funding for energy efficiency.
We are also investing more than $ 41 billion in the deployment of electric vehicle infrastructure, including $ 12.5 billion to accelerate the domestic manufacture of batteries, power electronics and other technologies for rechargeable vehicles.
Collectively, these investments will help us take an important step in tackling the climate crisis, while rebuilding our economy, creating well-paying jobs and relieving consumers of their energy bills.
We’re also investing more than $ 51 billion to protect Americans’ drinking water. Legislation expands and increases funding for the State Revolving Loan Fund and other drinking water programs targeting lead service lines, water supply system resilience, and supply system security in water. We are also establishing a new $ 2.5 billion grant program to help filter toxic PFAS chemicals, or chemicals forever, from water supplies in affected communities and ensure that water supply systems American territories will have access to the resources they need.
We are also funding the Brownfields program, which has successfully helped communities, including many environmental justice communities, to clean up contaminated sites, remove threats to public health, and prepare sites for development.
The LIFT America Act also makes significant investments in expanding broadband Internet access. We are investing $ 80 billion to deploy secure and resilient broadband that will expand access nationwide. This major investment will allow a 100% deployment of broadband across the country, thus bridging the digital divide. Over the past year, we’ve seen how essential internet connectivity is, and this investment will lead to stronger small businesses, more jobs and revitalized economies in communities that have simply been left behind. for too long.
The law also invests $ 15 billion to implement next-generation 9-1-1 services that allow callers to send text messages, images or videos to 9-1-1 in an emergency. .
We are also including $ 9.3 billion for broadband accessibility and adoption to ensure that everyone can afford internet services and have the knowledge and tools to use the internet to meet their needs. .
Finally, the LIFT America Act invests $ 30 billion in our country’s health infrastructure. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed an alarming number of pre-existing weaknesses in our country’s healthcare infrastructure. The pandemic has also stretched our health infrastructure to the point of breaking down. This funding will be used to modernize hospitals and community health centers, improve clinical laboratory infrastructure, support the Indian health service, and increase the overall capacity for community care in America.
There is no better way to stimulate our economy for the future than to modernize our aging infrastructure. I encourage my fellow Republicans to join us in this quest to revitalize our economy, create millions of new jobs, fight climate change and ensure that no community is left behind. Let’s get to work.