Billions of dollars will now be headed to Massachusetts to help fix roads and bridges after the long-awaited infrastructure bill finally cleared the House late Friday on a 228-206 vote -- but not all of the state's delegation voted for it.
The White House has said once signed, the new law will reach virtually every corner of the country and the investments will add, on average, about 2 million jobs per year over the coming decade. Here in Massachusetts, Congressman Stephen Lynch says with some of the oldest roads and bridges in the country, the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan will help create jobs across the state.
"It’s a long-term investment in the Commonwealth," Lynch said.
And there's a lot in the bill for the Bay State, which is poised to receive more than $12.5 billion toward the state's roads, bridges, water systems, and other infrastructure needs.
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This would include $4.2 billion designated for roads, $1.1 billion to fix bridges, $2.5 billion to modernize public transportation, and just over $1 billion to improve water infrastructure.
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Massachusetts is also poised to get a minimum of $3.5 billion to help weatherize homes and buildings in the face of threats from climate change, $100 million to provide statewide broadband coverage, $63 million to expand electric vehicle charging networks, $15.7 million to prevent cyberattacks, and $5.8 million to protect against wildfires, according to an estimated breakdown provided by Congresswoman Lori Trahan’s office.
"This is a win for everyone in the Commonwealth and certainly across the country and I’m thrilled that the House has enacted it and to send it to the president’s desk," said Trahan, who detailed her reasons for voting yes on Twitter.
The road to get the legislation in front of President Joe Biden for his signature has not been an easy one. Progressive lawmakers wanted to pass the infrastructure bill in tandem with Biden's Social Safety Net plan, which includes money for affordable child care, an expansion of the child tax credit and universal Pre-K.
Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley was one of six democrats to vote no on the infrastructure bill Friday, and she explained her decision, releasing a statement early Saturday morning.
"We had an agreement that these two bills would move together, not that we would vote for one in exchange for a potential vote on the other if certain conditions were met," Pressley said in part. "Unfortunately, that agreement was not honored."
Lynch, who supports both bills, says lawmakers had to get something passed.
"If you take the approach that nothing can pass unless everything passes we will get nothing done," he said. "Zero."
Congressman Jake Auchincloss is confident they can pass the Build Back Better plan before Thanksgiving.
“I have been clear that we want both of these bills," he said. "They’re peanut butter and jelly and we’re still making the full sandwich here.”