WASHINGTON — Yesterday, U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), a member of the group of 22 senators that has been negotiating bipartisan infrastructure legislation, announced that a deal has been reached among key Republican and Democratic lawmakers on a $550 billion infrastructure package. Senator Coons voted to advance the proposal last night, which will start the formal process of debating the bill.
Senator Coons issued the following joint statement with Senators Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Angus King (I-Maine), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Mark Warner (D-Va.):
“We are proud to announce we have reached a bipartisan agreement on our proposal to make the strongest investment in America’s critical infrastructure in a generation. Our plan will create good-paying jobs in communities across our country without raising taxes. Reaching this agreement was no easy task—but our constituents expect us to put in the hard work and show that two parties can still work together to address the needs of the American people. We appreciate our colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and the administration, working with us to get this done and we look forward to earning broad, bipartisan support among our Senate colleagues for this historic legislation.”
The bipartisan infrastructure package will support high-paying jobs, vital projects, and connectivity in Delaware and across the country. Major investments include:
- Roads and Bridges: The bill invests $110 billion of new funds for roads, bridges, and major projects. This investment will repair and rebuild our roads and bridges with a focus on climate change mitigation, resilience, equity, and safety for all users, including cyclists and pedestrians.
- Rail: The bill makes the largest investment in passenger rail since Amtrak’s creation. $22 million would be provided as grants to Amtrak, $24 billion as federal-state partnership grants for Northeast Corridor (NEC) modernization, $12 billion for partnership grants for intercity rail service, $5 billion for rail improvement and safety grants, and $3 billion for grade crossing safety improvements. This funding will allow service providers on the NEC, including Amtrak, to make necessary capital investments. The NEC is one of the busiest and most complex rail lines in the world and runs through Wilmington, Delaware. The state-of-good-repair backlog in the NEC has climbed to over $40 billion, and Amtrak and other infrastructure owners lack the long-term funding to address it. Senator Coons has been leading an effort in the Senate to address this issue.
- Ferries: The bill includes $2.5 billion for ferries, of which $1.25 billion is for the Federal Transit Administration’s Passenger Ferry Grant program and $250 million is for a new electric and hybrid ferry pilot program to reduce emissions. Delaware’s ferry system, run by the Delaware River Bay Authority, connects Lewes to Cape May, New Jersey.
- Transit: The bill provides more than $39 billion to modernize our nation's transit system and make public transportation more accessible.
- Clean Energy: The bill invests $73 billion in our nation’s energy infrastructure, including modernizations to our electric grid and Senators Coons’ and Cassidy’s Storing CO2 And Lowering Emissions (SCALE) Act to support the buildout of CO2 transport and storage infrastructure. As the nation’s first comprehensive CO2 infrastructure bill, it would drive deployment of carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) technology and create thousands of jobs.
- Clean water and pollution remediation: The bill directs $55 billion for clean drinking water, including significant funding to address PFAS and lead contamination. The bill also includes $21 billion for environmental remediation, including funds to clean up Superfund and Brownfield sites.
- Climate resilience: The bill invests $46 billion for environmental resilience, including $26 million for the Delaware River Basin Restoration Program, $238 million for the EPA Chesapeake Bay Program, and $200 million for the NOAA Marine Debris Program.
- Broadband: The bill makes an historic investment of $65 billion to connect every American, including those in rural areas of Delaware, to high-speed internet.
- Ports and airports: The bill includes $17 billion for port infrastructure and $25 billion for airports to reduce congestion and emissions and address maintenance backlogs
- School buses: The bill delivers $5 billion for electric and low-carbon school buses, to reduce exposure to emissions for students in Delaware and around the country.
- Reconnecting communities: The bill provides $1 billion for a new program to reconnect communities divided by the interstate highway system and other transportation infrastructure, as called for in the Reconnecting Communities Act, which Senator Coons cosponsored. This would help fund projects like a highway cap on I-95 in Wilmington.