WASHINGTON – The National Association of Counties (NACo) applauded the passage of the bipartisan infrastructure package by the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill, which the U.S. Senate passed in August, now heads to President Biden for his signature.
“Counties applaud the U.S. House and Senate for passing this much-needed, bipartisan infrastructure bill,” said NACo Executive Director Matthew Chase. “We appreciate our House and Senate partners who worked with us to develop this comprehensive legislation. It will help rebuild our nation’s infrastructure and economy by investing in locally owned infrastructure and preserving local decision-making.”
The bill would accomplish many longstanding county priorities, including:
- A new, long-term surface transportation reauthorization for highway, bridge and transit systems
- Meaningful commitments to transportation safety and project streamlining
- Critical new investments in water, stormwater and broadband projects
- Increased investments in off-system bridges – including county owned bridges that are not part of the federal-aid highway system
- Raising the cap on Private Activity Bonds, which will facilitate the construction of infrastructure projects, and
- An extension of the Secure Rural Schools program for timber harvest counties for three years.
“We are pleased that our federal partners have recognized the critical role counties play in our nation’s infrastructure,” said Chase. “As America’s counties fulfill our vast infrastructure responsibilities, we appreciate a strong federal-state-local partnership to make much-needed investments in building and strengthening infrastructure for the future.”
Counties play a major role in maintaining critical infrastructure. Counties:
- Own 44 percent of the nation’s road miles and nearly 40 percent of all bridges
- Are involved in the vast majority of public transportation systems and a third of all public airports
- Are responsible for the operation of local water systems, and
- Ensure the safety and resiliency of our communities.
Read NACo’s executive summary of the infrastructure bill here. See the latest federal transportation and infrastructure policy proposals impacting counties here. Learn more about NACo’s transportation and infrastructure priorities here.Standard