Colorado’s two U.S. senators voted Tuesday in favor of a bipartisan federal infrastructure package that will send more than $5 billion to the state for highways, bridges, public transportation and more.
The Senate voted 69-30 to pass the roughly $1 trillion bill, forwarding it on to the U.S. House. Democratic Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper of Colorado voted aye.
“It’s not perfect — something like this never is — but I think it serves Colorado well,” Hickenlooper said in an interview. “We got a lot of things into it that are going to make a big difference in Colorado and I think it moves the country in the right direction.”
Colorado will receive an estimated $3.7 billion for federal highway work and $225 million for bridge replacement and repairs over five years if the bill becomes law. Public transportation systems would get $917 million and $57 million would be spent on expanding the state’s network of electric vehicle charging stations.
At least $100 million would be spent expanding broadband infrastructure in a state where a recent report said 675,000 Coloradans lack reliable internet access.
That’s in addition to $5.4 billion in state funds that Colorado will spend on infrastructure and transportation over the next 11 years.
Congressional Republicans criticized the bill for spending too much money after a Congressional Budget Office report found it would increase the federal deficit by $250 billion over 10 years.
“Not to mention, the bill is 2,700 pages long and lawmakers were only given a few days to review it,” U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, a Windsor Republican, tweeted Monday. “This bill is bad for America and will only cause prices to rise even more.”
Hickenlooper is a member of the bipartisan group of senators that crafted the package. Its passage represents more than just an investment in roads and bridges, he said.
“I am tremendously proud that we are demonstrating, not just to this country but to the world, that in American democracy, bipartisanship can still function and make a difference,” the senator told The Post, comparing bipartisanship to muscles that haven’t been used in a long time.
“Now that we have activated those old, forgotten muscles, what’s next? What can this bipartisan group of senators next turn their attention to?” he said. “That’s when we’ll really start to demonstrate that democracy is not broken. It’s certainly bruised but it’s not broken.”
Source: Read Full Article