WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: Rural Leaders Praise Senate Passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

This week, rural leaders across the country praised the Senate passage of the historic, bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will invest in rural communities across America – creating good-paying jobs, expanding access to high-speed internet, building electric vehicle charging infrastructure, replacing lead pipes to deliver clean drinking water, and more.

Additionally, the Presidents Build Back Better Agenda will benefit rural communities, lowering the price of health care and prescription drugs and cutting taxes for middle-class families. Read more about how President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda helps rural communities HERE.

See below for what rural leaders are saying about the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act: 

American Farm Bureau Federation: “AFBF appreciates the Senate for working together in a bipartisan manner to pass the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The pressing infrastructure issues facing our nation are too important to ignore, particularly in rural communities where modernization is desperately needed.”
National Farmers Union“National Farmers Union is relieved that our legislators are finally paying attention to this crisis. The INVEST in America Act will help modernize our antiquated infrastructure, bolstering rural economies and preparing them for the challenges ahead. More specifically, we are pleased with the inclusion of provisions that would address the affordability of broadband, expand disaster relief and emergency assistance for extreme weather events, improve the resilience of watersheds, and update hours-of-service exemptions for agricultural and livestock haulers.”
National Corn Growers Association: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime investment in America’s infrastructure, and we are extremely pleased that it includes funding for priorities that are important to farmers and rural America. The legislation will benefit agriculture for years to come, and it is encouraging for corn farmers to see Senators working together on a bipartisan basis.”
Farm Credit Council: “Farm Credit thanks the Senate for its bipartisan efforts to pass the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. This legislation will create jobs and improve quality of life across the country, including in rural America. The investments in rural broadband will connect more communities. Improvements to rural water systems will ensure safe drinking water supplies and adequate wastewater systems. And the agriculture transport network will benefit from improved rural roadways and bridges, freight rail, inland waterways and port facilities.”
National Rural Electric Cooperative Association: “This bipartisan proposal is a meaningful first step and carries significant benefits for rural families and businesses, particularly those who lack access to high speed broadband. We commend the senators from both sides of the aisle who worked together on this compromise, and we applaud their commitment to the bipartisan pursuit of solutions.”
National Grocers Association: “This provision will allow independent community grocers and many other small merchants to more easily provide public charging stations for their customers. As EV usage expands in the coming years, grocery retailers will be equipped to offer this valuable service and added convenience to shoppers.”
ReImagine Appalachia: “ReImagine Appalachia commends President Joe Biden, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, and the bipartisan group of Senators in the working group for marshalling through legislation that, once passed through the U.S. House, will make our communities healthier, create a better future for our children, and put people to work in union jobs with benefits and wages high enough to support a family.”
Agricultural Retailers Association: “The investments included in the IIJA are long overdue and safeguard the ability of the agriculture industry to continue to do its job to bring a safe, plentiful, and consistent supply of food, fiber, and fuel to the American people and the world.”

American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association: “This measure marks unprecedented levels of investment in programs that are critical to our freight industry – like CRISI, RAISE, and INFRA – providing our members enormously expanded opportunities to compete for investment grants to implement new technology, upgrade aging track, rehabilitate bridges, and initiate important safety measures that allow us to better serve our customers … We now urge the U.S. House of Representatives to work to swiftly move this legislation to the President’s desk.”
National Council of Farmer Cooperatives: “The bill’s historic investment of $65 billion for expanding broadband access will help close the digital divide in rural America that has become all too apparent in the past year and a half. With the Senate having acted, we urge the House to take up the infrastructure package without delay.”
National Grain and Feed Association: “The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will enhance the efficient and cost-effective transport of agricultural and food products resulting in substantial contributions and opportunities for U.S. economic growth and trade.”

NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association: “We look forward to continuing to work with Congress and the White House as this bill moves forward to ensure that all Americans, regardless of where they live, will have access to affordable internet service that meets their needs today and tomorrow.”   
ACA Connects: “We applaud the U.S. Senate for providing in the bipartisan infrastructure package $65 billion to expand access to critical broadband capabilities. This historic investment would help all Americans stay close to their families, friends, and neighbors and engage in telework, telehealth, remote learning and other activities so fundamental to 21st Century society.” 
American Soybean Association: “ASA and its farmer leaders are very supportive of this bipartisan legislation, which makes historic investments across all aspects of our nation’s infrastructure, including roads and bridges, waterways and railroads.”

Family Farm Alliance: “The Western water provisions included in this package represent a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to invest in a reliable and sustainable water supply that supports our farms, businesses and rural and urban communities.”
California Farm Bureau: “With drought conditions continuing to worsen throughout the West, now is the time to invest and make timely improvements in our nation’s water management portfolio.” 
Association of California Water Agencies: “We need to make major investments, including in water recycling, ecosystem restoration, desalination and storage projects to modernize and upgrade our water infrastructure to ensure local, safe, reliable, high quality water now and in future years. This bipartisan legislation accomplishes that.”
Western Growers: “We commend the Senate for taking this historic action. Without access to a safe, reliable and affordable water supply, the long-term viability of our family farms and rural communities in the West are in jeopardy, along with more than 80 percent of all U.S. fruit, vegetable and tree nut production. As the current drought has demonstrated, time is running out, which is why we call on the House to act with urgency and pass the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act without delay.”
Waterways Council, Inc: “Waterways Council Inc. is grateful to the Administration and to Congress for working together to develop and pass this critical infrastructure bill, recognizing the importance and needs of the Nation’s inland waterways system.”
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association: “We are pleased to see the Senate has passed an infrastructure package that will benefit American cattle producers. Investments in infrastructure are critical to ensure that those in rural America, including farmers and ranchers, have the necessary resources to operate the businesses that serve as the backbone of rural economies.”  
One Country Project: “This bipartisan infrastructure package will benefit rural communities and the rural economy in innumerable ways. Deploying broadband to our nation’s Heartland will allow for enhanced connectivity and utilization of advanced farming technologies, bolster small businesses and rural entrepreneurship opportunities, increase health care access and equity, and enhance workforce training and education so that rural America can learn, compete, and lead in the clean energy economy. This legislation will also help improve our water infrastructure, neglected roads and bridges, and keep rural America and its industries fueled through increased resiliency of its power grid.”

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