For Immediate Release: 
September 28, 2021
Contact Info: 
Margaret Mulkerrin 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor this afternoon in support of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery and a link to the video.
Click here for the full video.
“Madam Speaker, first and foremost I want to thank my friend Mr. [Peter] DeFazio, chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. He and his Members and staff worked long and late hours over the past two years, going back to the 116th Congress, to produce the legislation that served as the basis for this bipartisan bill. I also want to thank Chairman Pallone and the Members and Staff of the Energy and Commerce Committee, who contributed a great deal as well.

“What we have before us today is a product that reflects the needs of our economy, an infrastructure system in dire need of upgrade and expansion, and addresses some, but by no means all, of the realities of the climate crisis we face. It will enable our businesses to seize on the opportunities presented by those challenges and to create millions of good, new jobs in the process.

“We have before us legislation that will invest more than $1 trillion in transportation networks, in expanding broadband access, in addressing climate change, and in helping our communities Build Back Better and more resilient. It would enact a major component of President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda. I hope we can come together and pass this legislation with strong support from Democrats and Republicans, united in our determination to help our businesses and working families Make It In America.

“And I use those words on purpose: ‘Make It In America.’

“I’ve been proud, for many years, to lead House Democrats’ Make It In America plan for jobs and opportunity. It is a plan with three core components – infrastructure, education, and entrepreneurship. Infrastructure has been central to our Make It In America plan since I first introduced it in 2010. That’s because momentum has been building for these investments in infrastructure for many, many years now. Businesses, labor, economists, and state and local leaders have been clamoring for Congress to do exactly what we are about to do today with this vote.

“Our Make It In America plan has called for multi-year, fully funded authorizations to address the backlog of projects both for transportation and for water infrastructure. This bill includes a five-year, $110 billion authorization for highway, roads and bridges, $39 billion for transit, and $55 billion in water infrastructure – to, literally ‘get the lead out’ and make our water safe to drink.

“Make It In America called for making our electricity grid more resilient and more reliable. This bill invests $78 billion to do exactly that and creates a new grid deployment authority to promote innovation and smart-grid technologies.

“Make It In America challenged Congress to promote a modern energy infrastructure that reduces waste and incentivizes storage and alternative forms of energy for vehicles. The $7.5 billion included in this legislation for building an electric-vehicle charging infrastructure in America – particularly in rural, disadvantaged, and hard-to-reach communities – meets that challenge.

“When House Democrats traveled across the country listening to the American people about what they need to Make It In America, we heard about the need to expand access to high-speed internet, including the deployment of 5-G wireless infrastructure. This bill achieves those goals by including $65 billion to bring broadband access to nearly all Americans and by auctioning new spectrum for 5-G wireless.

“Make It In America is also about education, and we have called for reforms that allow for stackable credentials for students preparing for the workforce as well as those already in the workforce looking to get ahead by learning new skills. This bill before us today includes provisions that provide states with flexibility in how they use funding to strengthen workforce development programs and help more people train for in-demand skills, such as engineering. 

“In so many ways, the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a product of House Democrats’ Make It In America plan. We’ve been united in promoting this agenda for ten years, and now we have the chance to effect a large portion of it.

“This legislation, of course, is just one half of an even larger effort by President Biden and Democrats to achieve that objective of helping our people Make It in America. The other piece is the Build Back Better Act. That legislation, which is progressing steadily toward consideration on the Floor, would enact the remainder of President Biden and Democrats’ domestic agenda, including major efforts to address the climate crisis and reforms that will help millions of American families achieve economic security. While the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act makes investments toward tackling the climate crisis, the Build Back Better Act will take the steps needed to transition our economy to clean energy in line with the President’s commitments to the Paris Climate Agreement. Where this legislation today invests in our nation’s physical infrastructure, the Build Back Better Act makes investments in America’s human infrastructure. In our working families, in our communities, and in opportunities for hard-working Americans to get ahead.

“We are moving steadily ahead with that bill, and I am hopeful that we are nearing the finish line. I look forward to bringing the Build Back Better Act to the Floor soon. I believe that Democrats will demonstrate unity on both pieces of legislation as we put President Biden and Congressional Democrats’ agenda into action. Let’s get this done – vote ‘yes.’”