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Infrastructure law will provide billions to the Mid-South

Published: Nov. 21, 2021 at 4:29 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The new infrastructure law President Joe Biden signed last Monday will provide billions to improve and upgrade roads and bridges across the Mid-South, along with money for other projects.

At $1.2 trillion, it’s the largest investment in the nation’s infrastructure in decades.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) provided a breakdown of where some of that money will be going.

Billions will go to repair and upgrade roads and bridges across the Mid-South over the next five years, including $3.8 billion to Arkansas; $3.6 billion to Mississippi; and $6.2 billion to Tennessee.

Each Mid-South state can also expect to see hundreds of millions to improve public transportation over the next five years, including $244 million to Arkansas; $218 million to Mississippi; and $651 million to Tennessee.

Hundreds of millions more will go to improve Mid-South airports over the next five years, including $117 million to Arkansas; $99 million to Mississippi; and $300 million to Tennessee.

Tens of millions will help build and expand electric vehicle networks across the Mid-South.

Tennessee will receive $88 million to expand its electric vehicle network while Arkansas will receive $54 million and Mississippi will get $51 million, according to DOT.

In addition, states and local governments will be able to apply for billions of dollars in grants to pay for other infrastructure projects.

“There was so much in that was good for Memphis. I’m proud to have voted for it,” said Memphis Democratic U.S. Congressman Steve Cohen.

Cohen says every corner of the country will benefit from the new law.

“It helps everybody’s district. It helps everybody in America and there was no Democrat or Republican about it,” said Cohen.

Mississippi’s Roger Wicker was the only Mid-South U.S. Senator to vote for the bill.

Most Republicans voted against it, including every Republican House member from the Mid-South.

Democrats in the House also passed another sweeping piece of legislation on Friday morning, a $1.7 trillion social spending and climate package known as the Build Back Better bill, a centerpiece of President Biden’s domestic agenda.

West Tennessee Republican Congressman David Kustoff also voted against this bill, calling it reckless, careless and irresponsible.

“It is filled with far-left provisions that would push companies to move their production and jobs overseas, hurt hardworking American families and cripple our small businesses. With inflation already at a 30-year high, this bill will leave severe and lasting consequences on our nation’s economy,” Kustoff said. “At a time when we need to be focused on addressing the current crises impacting our country, Democrats are instead ramming through yet another expensive and far-reaching bill.”

While the infrastructure bill was signed into law last week, the social spending and climate change bill isn’t a done deal and faces an uncertain future.

It must go through U.S. Senate, where it will likely undergo several changes.

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