Governor Phil Scott, Cabinet Officials Urge Congress to Support the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework
Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott and members of his Cabinet are urging Congress to support the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework (BIF), negotiated by a group of Democratic and Republican senators and the White House. At a press conference on Tuesday, Governor Scott was joined by Joe Flynn, secretary of the Agency of Transportation, Julie Moore, secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources and June Tierney, commissioner of the Department of Public Service, to discuss the benefits of the package.
The framework, reportedly in the final stages of negotiations on Capitol Hill, would invest about $1.2 trillion to repair roads and bridges, build out electric vehicle infrastructure, support public transit systems, make substantial investments in broadband, water and power infrastructure, while helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions and creating good paying jobs.
“The need to upgrade our physical infrastructure is something most Americans can agree on,” said Governor Scott. “This is an issue Republicans and Democrats have talked about for years, and I think we have a real opportunity to finally get something done.”
“Among many other initiatives, the package includes $312 billion going directly to fixing highways, rebuilding bridges, and upgrading transit systems, rail, and airports,” said Secretary Flynn. “This would make a huge difference for Vermont, helping us address critical transportation needs.”
“The passage of a long-term and comprehensive infrastructure bill is an incredible opportunity to rebuild Vermont’s aging infrastructure, including drinking water and wastewater, remediate and redevelop brownfield properties and other contaminated sites, and address challenges posed by climate change,” said Secretary Moore. “Timely passage of a federal infrastructure package will allow Vermont to build on the momentum created by current investments to make transformational improvements that will serve and support Vermonters for decades with high quality waters and a cleaner environment.”
“The framework for the infrastructure bill acknowledges broadband as infrastructure, meaning, that it is equivalent to a highway. This is new, and therefore good news,” said Commissioner Tierney. “This signals a very important step forward in federal policy and budget thinking around broadband. It shows that Washington is finally starting to get the message: broadband is a necessity, not a nice-to-have alternative to landline telephones and cable TV. The bipartisan framework also contemplates creating a centralized Grid Development Authority at the federal Department of Energy. This is a long-overdue recognition that grid resiliency and greening are not just regional or state issues – these are issues of national import, as well.”
Governor Scott also noted that the passage of this package would represent an important accomplishment for bipartisanship. “Not only would this package make us more competitive, create good paying jobs and help modernize our country, but it would also be a much-needed moral victory for a very polarized nation,” said Governor Scott. “After all the division and partisanship that we’ve seen over the past several years, coming together with a major bipartisan piece of legislation would help us take a step towards unity, and I hope bring down the partisan temperature in D.C. It’s important that Washington proves to the American people that, when we share common goals, we can deliver results.”
On Wednesday, July 14, Governor Scott met with President Biden, Vice President Harris, the Secretary of Commerce, Secretary of Labor and a small bipartisan group of governors and mayors at the White House to discuss the BIF and its benefits.