(INDIANAPOLIS) – The Indiana Chamber is applauding the passage of President Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill.
The bill creates an unusual alliance in Indiana politics, putting the normally Republican-leaning Chamber at odds with the Republicans in Indiana’s congressional delegation, all of whom voted against the bill. A total of 19 Senate Republicans and 13 in the House supported the bill, with the House yes votes supplying the bill’s margin of victory.
Chamber president Kevin Brinegar says the bill is more than 10 years overdue in supplying money for critical needs, including some the general public may overlook because they’re less visible, such as upgrading aging water and sewer lines. The bill also sets aside money for roads, bridges, ports, airports and rural broadband.
Brinegar notes the traditional source of federal road funding, gas taxes, has been declining as cars become more fuel efficient and electric or hybrid vehicles become more common. The same dilemma was behind Indiana’s road funding bill four years ago, which now delivers more than a billion dollars a year for roads. The state is expected to receive an average of $700 million a year from the infrastructure bill.
The Chamber opposes Biden’s larger, still-unvoted-on social spending bill. Brinegar says the infrastructure bill will deliver tangible, physical benefits, including what he says is the largest commitment ever to repairing deteriorating bridges.