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DeFazio-Authored Bipartisan INVEST in America Act, Wastewater Bill Pass Committee, Now Head to House Floor

Jun 11, 2021
Press Release
Transformative Bill includes $20 million for projects in SW Oregon

Rep. Peter DeFazio, Chair of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, this week passed the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America (INVEST in America) Act out of committee on a bipartisan vote.

The five-year, $547 billion bill, which directs federal investments in highways, bridges, transit, and rail, is now scheduled for a vote by the full House the week of June 28th.

The INVEST in America Act puts a core piece of President Biden’s American Jobs Plan into legislative text and seizes this once-in-a-generation opportunity to move our transportation system out of the 1950s and toward our clean energy future,” said Rep. DeFazio. “My legislation will create and sustain good-paying jobs, many of which don’t require a college degree, restore our global competitiveness, tackle climate change head-on, and improve the lives of all Oregonians. It will also fund much-needed improvements in infrastructure around southwest Oregon and spur economic growth across the state.” 

DeFazio included $20 million for projects in Oregon’s 4th congressional district in the bill, including $4.5 million for much-needed repairs to the Port of Coos Bay, $1.8 million for the purchase of additional electric buses in Lane County, and $5 million for the reconstruction of Lane County’s territorial highway. A full list of DeFazio’s requested projects can be found here.

In addition, under H.R. 1915, the bipartisan Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act of 2021, Oregon can expect to receive over $441 million in wastewater infrastructure investments through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, which is the primary source of federal assistance for wastewater infrastructure construction. H.R. 1915 authorizes a total of $50 billion in direct infrastructure investment over the next five years to address America’s crumbling wastewater infrastructure and local water quality challenges. 

“Chairman DeFazio’s leadership in bringing forth the INVEST Act showcases the environmental values, pragmatic governance, and innovative spirit of Oregon,” said Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis. “More importantly, the INVEST Act is a climate investment, focusing on actions that will move our nation away from fossil fuel use, while providing good paying jobs in rural and urban areas alike.  As a Climate Mayor, I endorse the INVEST Act as a national path to smartly reduce greenhouse gases, transition to a low carbon economy, provide increased local involvement in transportation, and above all else, advance racial equity by addressing the long history of racist transportation policy in our past.”

“American taxpayers expect bang for the buck,” said Rob Zako, Executive Director of Better Eugene-Springfield Transportation (BEST). “The INVEST in America Act does just that, supporting everyday Americans in their daily lives, providing family-wage jobs, ensuring everyone has opportunities, strengthening our communities, and preserving our planet for our children and grandchildren. Not a relic of the past nor business as usual, our own Congressman Peter DeFazio is offering America a concrete vision for a better transportation future for all.”