Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke at a press conference with DPCC Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Senate EPW Committee Chairman Tom Carper (D-DE), Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Senator John Hickenlooper (D-CO), and Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) on the two-year anniversary of the signing of the historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. You can view the event here:
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is historic legislation. Just two years in the making, it's already making every one of our states.
We see the impact almost on a weekly basis of new infrastructure, upgrading our infrastructure, bringing us in to this new century. The bill invests in critical projects.
We're seeing our bridges fixed and we're building new bridges.
We're improving our airports. I've seen that in my city of New York and around my state.
We're expanding broadband so that millions who never had broadband, a necessity in the 21st century as electricity was a necessity in the 20th, are getting it.
We're bolstering transportation, including for electric buses for school kids just like the one behind us.
And all of it with good-paying union jobs. And our existing union workers are doing well. But there are many more union new workers being brought in to these union apprenticeship programs and getting good-paying jobs for the first time in their families’ history.
As Majority Leader, I was proud to lead this law into passage. But as the senior Senator from New York, I've also worked hard to bring back investment to rebuild our state of New York.
So I want to take a minute to talk about the impact the infrastructure law is actually having on New York.
In New York City, we are in an infrastructure renaissance, from the Gateway Tunnel project to East Side Access to Penn Station Access to the Second Avenue subway. The infrastructure law has meant billions, that's with a “B,” for New York City to move full steam ahead. We depend on mass transit and we're building so much of it in New York. We have from 25 to 33% of the mass transit riders in the country.
But it's not just true in New York City or the metropolitan area, Long Island, Westchester, et cetera – it's around the whole state.
New York state will receive $670 million to expand high speed internet across the Empire State, closing the digital divide for thousands of families from rural towns to big cities, giving people access to get better jobs, better health care, better education.
Broadband is a necessity and we've treated it like one for the first time in decades by helping both people in rural areas and poor people who can't afford it get broadband. And as I mentioned, because the Buy America provisions we fought to include in the law, all of us here did, good-paying jobs are going to be created in building the infrastructure.
This is one of the largest federal investments ever in water infrastructure, aimed at eliminating lead pipes, led service pipes, which have done such damage and injury to our great kids. New York has over 360,000 lead pipes still delivering water to homes, that's the fourth highest in the nation. In Rochester, we've been battling lead pollution for decades. It was projected it would take until 2050 to replace these led service lines; that means two more generations of children getting this led in their systems. Now we’re going to replace them by 2030, a huge change for the health of our kids.
And, of course, we've made major investments in school buses. Under the EPA Clean School bus program, school districts across New York will get $50 million to purchase 150 new electric busses. So and thanks to these buses, we're going to say goodbye to diesel exhaust polluting our environment. Our children can go to school, play in neighborhoods without breathing in toxic chemicals. So thanks to these historic buses, the wheels of the new electric bus go round and round and round all over America, keeping emissions and pollution going down, down, down.
And Senate Democrats can continue delivering on our promise for a brighter future, more good-paying jobs for our communities.