Pallone Unveils Comprehensive Infrastructure Package

May 17, 2017

Washington, D.C. –Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), the Ranking Member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, introduced a broad 21st Century infrastructure package that includes key areas within the Committee’s jurisdiction, including broadband, drinking water, healthcare, the electric grid, brownfields and renewable energy infrastructure.  The Leading Infrastructure For Tomorrow’s America Act, or LIFT America Act, (H.R. 2479) sets out five years of funding for essential infrastructure improvements, job growth, and greater protections for public health and the environment. The Congressman first discussed the legislation last week in Carteret, NJ.

“At a time when our nation’s infrastructure is either crumbling or in desperate need of modernization, it’s time we make real and significant investments for the future,” said Pallone.  “The LIFT America Act is a blueprint for critical investments in our nation’s infrastructure that will also create jobs, promote economic growth and protect public health, and the environment.  I’m pleased to introduce this comprehensive bill with my Democratic colleagues on the Committee, and look forward to advancing these key investments in American infrastructure.”

The LIFT America Act includes investments in several key areas including:

·         $40 billion for the deployment of secure and resilient broadband to expand access for communities nationwide while promoting security by design;

·         $22.56 billion for drinking water infrastructure to protect public health and create jobs, including increased investment in drinking water State Revolving Funds and additional funding to replace lead service lines, address lead in school drinking water, and prepare for the impacts of climate change;

·         Over $17 billion for energy infrastructure, including $4 billion for modern, secure, efficient, and resilient electric grid infrastructure, $9 billion for resilient and renewable energy supply including methane pipeline replacement, and more than $4 billion for energy efficiency efforts and smart communities;

·         More than $3 billion for healthcare infrastructure, to revive the successful Hill-Burton hospital infrastructure program, fund medical facilities in Indian Country, support state labs on the frontlines of fighting Zika and other infectious diseases, and expand community based health care facilities;

·         $2.7 billion for Brownfields redevelopment to revitalize communities and create jobs by returning valuable land to productive use;

The LIFT America Act will invest in programs with proven records of job creation, including the drinking water State Revolving Fund and the Brownfields Redevelopment program.  The legislation requires the use of American made iron and steel for drinking water projects and hospital construction and requires the payment of prevailing wages.  The bill will also spur new high-paying technology jobs by supporting deployment of smart buildings, smart grid, and Smart Communities technology.

The LIFT America Act also provides much-needed funding to repair and replace aging infrastructure that will have significant public health benefits, especially for children.  The bill includes funding to get lead out of school drinking water, replace polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)-laden lighting fixtures with safer and more energy efficient alternatives in schools, and reduce diesel emissions from school buses.

A section-by-section of the bill is available here.

The text of the bill is available here.