WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill 19 Republicans joined all 50 Democratic senators in supporting the bill. It includes more than $550 billion dollars in new spending on roads, bridges, rail, and could mean direct rail from Dallas to Wichita. But can it get one more vote to get to the president’s desk?
Both Rep. Sharice Davids and Rep. Ron Estes talked about what the infrastructure could mean for Kansas and what they hope the rest of this process will look like.
Rep. Davids believes the impact the bipartisan infrastructure bill could have on Kansas would be big for many.
“We will probably see somewhere between $2.6 billion of funding come to the state of Kansas for highway projects,” explained Rep. Davids. “And then a little over $225 million or so for bridge replacement.”
She’s also optimistic about what it could mean for bringing broadband internet to rural Kansas communities.
“If I’m not mistaken Kansas will receive a minimum allocation of $100 million to help expand broadband,” said Rep. Davids.
Rep. Ron Estes thinks the $100 million Kansas could potentially receive isn’t nearly enough when there is $65 billion meant for broadband expansion.
“We’re spending $65 billion nationwide and only $2 billion is going to rural broadband,” said Rep. Estes.
Rep. Estes says the $1 trillion dollar infrastructure bill combined with the Democrat’s $3.5 trillion budget resolution would do harm to the deficit.
“We’ve got to get back to, let’s tear down what we look at,” explained Rep. Estes. “Let’s focus on what priorities are don’t just go spend a lot of money because you can cobble together the votes to spend a lot of money.”
One potential hang-up to these is Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said she will not turn to the $1 trillion infrastructure package until the senate passes the much larger $3.5 trillion package. Rep. Davids says the Democrats need to take advantage of the momentum from the U.S. Senate’s vote.
“That feels like really strong momentum, and I think there are a lot of folks in the House who are feeling that momentum as well,” Rep. Davids added.