Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Congressman Filemon Vela (D-TX-34) announced the passage of the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in a bipartisan vote of 228 to 206. The passage of the bill follows Congressman Vela and other House Democrats’ work to ensure this important bill becomes law to help communities across the country, including in South Texas.
This $1.2 trillion bill will fund critical infrastructure projects in TX-34, including $133 million to modernize and expand the Gateway International Bridge located in Brownsville, Texas. Also included in the legislation is funding for cargo lot improvements at the Veterans International Bridge and Free Trade International Bridge located in Brownsville and Los Indios, Texas, respectively.
Congressman Vela has prioritized funding the modernization and expansion of Gateway International Bridge for years, driving project coordination by bringing together U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. General Services Administration, Cameron County, the City of Brownsville, and Congressional colleagues to work on a full overhaul of the Gateway. Congressman Vela has also been a leader in the fight to secure funding for all land ports of entry, working closely with House Leadership and the House Appropriations, Homeland Security and Transportation & Infrastructure Committees.
“This transformative bill will finally do what we should have done years ago: provide significant infrastructure upgrades for our nation. Throughout my time in Congress, I have worked to ensure that our land ports of entry are equipped and prepared to handle the large flux of trade and commerce at our border. I am proud that my years of advocacy and work with the Executive Branch and my colleagues in the House and Senate has resulted in the inclusion of $3.75 billion for land ports of entry. As I prepare to retire from Congress at the end of this term, I am proud to have helped get this legislation across the finish line in what was one of the most consequential votes of my career,” said Congressman Vela. “Modernizing and expanding Brownsville’s Gateway International Port of Entry will not only bring good jobs to local communities and boost the region’s economy, but also strengthen our national security and facilitate trade and travel. Securing this funding has been my top priority while in Congress.”
In addition to funding LPOE upgrades, The Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will:
•Improve healthy, sustainable transportation options for millions of Americans by modernizing and expanding transit and rail networks across the country, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The bill is the largest federal investment in public transit in history and is the largest federal investment in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak.
•Repair and rebuild our roads and bridges with a focus on climate change mitigation, resilience, equity, and safety for all users, including cyclists and pedestrians. The infrastructure bill is the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system.
•Build a national network of electric vehicle (EV) chargers along highways and in rural and disadvantaged communities. The largest investment in EV infrastructure in history, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will accomplish the President’s goal of building 500,000 EV chargers.
•Electrify thousands of school and transit buses across the country to reduce harmful emissions and drive domestic manufacturing of zero emission vehicles and components.
•Eliminate the nation’s lead service lines and pipes, delivering clean drinking water to up to ten million American families and more than 400,000 schools and child care facilities that currently don’t have it, including in Tribal nations and disadvantaged communities. The bill is the largest investment in clean drinking water and waste water infrastructure in American history.
•Connect every American to reliable high-speed internet, just as the federal government made a historic effort to provide electricity to every American nearly one hundred years ago. The bill will also drive down prices for internet service and close the digital divide.
•Upgrade our power infrastructure, including by building thousands of miles of new, resilient transmission lines to facilitate the expansion of renewable energy, including through a new Grid Authority. The bill is the single largest investment in clean energy transmission in American history.
•Create a first of its kind Infrastructure Financing Authority that will leverage billions of dollars into clean transportation and clean energy.
•Make the largest investment in addressing legacy pollution in American history, a cleanup effort that will create good-paying union jobs and advance environmental justice.
•Prepare more of our infrastructure for the impacts of climate change, cyber attacks, and extreme weather events. The bill is the largest investment in the resilience of physical and natural systems in American history.
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