An Illinois Republican Congressman is optimistic about a federal infrastructure bill to happen soon.
18th District Congressman Darin LaHood said he was pleased with the recent bi-partisan compromise struck by the Biden Administration with Senators last week: “I’m optimistic that the Senate will take up action this week and next week. They are going to be the drivers of this initially. I give the Biden Administration and the bi-partisan group of Senators a lot of credit. They keep working at this and working on it, and they have made a lot of progress. It’s about a trillion dollar bill – doesn’t raise significant taxes. It has some user fees on airports and the rail system. It gives back a lot of COVID money to help pay for infrastructure, but it’s a significant amount of money. It would be about a trillion dollars that would fund roads and bridges, and our locks and dams, and traditional infrastructure. We’ll see if it passes the Senate next week. If it does, I think it’ll pick up some momentum and it’ll come over to the House. I’m going to give it strong consideration if that happens. I’m looking forward to seeing this new progress that’s being made.”
Senate Democrats are still somewhat divided on the infrastructure bill, linking it to the fate of a large spending bill on child care and education. Details of the child care and education bill are still being worked on after President Joe Biden called for a larger package after announcing the infrastructure compromise.
LaHood says that infrastructure for Illinois is a big priority as the state’s highways and river infrastructure are in need of major investment: “I mean you can’t go far [in this state] without worrying about your car getting a flat tire. I mean there are potholes. There are repairs needed. There is critical infrastructure needs that are throughout Illinois. We need this [bill]. What I’m glad for is we are defining infrastructure in the traditional way. I know the Biden Administration had talked about human infrastructure, which would fund things like public housing and child care. We can have a debate on that, but we need to focus on traditional infrastructure – again, fixing up our roads, our highways, our bridges – they need significant help and that’s what this bill will do.”
Democrats hope the compromise will pass with at least 60 votes in the Senate to bypass the filibuster.