“Nay” on the Bi-Partisan Infrastructure Bill goes against needs of U.P.
On Friday, November 5, Congressman Jack Bergman voted against the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill that would fund roads, bridges and airports across the First Congressional District. Bergman claimed with no proof that the bill was, “Trojan Horse” that included, “radical policies [that] tower over the sliver of new spending.” While others have claimed that Bergman’s political spin is “old and tired” and out-of-touch with hardworking Michiganders.
However, the bill only includes what is known as traditional infrastructure with a lot of money coming to Michigan. The package includes many provisions that will, thanks to the votes of other members of Congress, help the citizens of the First District. Among the benefits coming directly to Michigan:
- $7.3 Billion for federal-aid highway programs
- $586 Million for bridge replacements and repairs
- $1 Billion to improve public transit
- $110 Million to expand EV charging
- $1.3 Billion to improve water infrastructure
- $100 Million to provide broadband coverage
- $363 Million for airports
In addition, the bill expands Amtrak to include new lines with a stop in Green Bay, Wisconsin which will connect families of the western end of the U.P. to Chicago and the rest of the country by rail. This alone, could attract younger people to choose to move to or stay in the Upper Peninsula which is vital to economic growth.
Bergman’s no vote also went against a long-sought Upper Peninsula priority to bring broadband to more places – once again this is a policy that could have an impact in attracting younger families and more tourism to the U.P. and northern lower Michigan.
Bergman’s no vote also went against another priority that invests $21 Billion in environmental remediation that includes reclaiming abandoned mines that dot the U.P.
Congressman Fred Upton was the lone Michigan Republican to vote Yes on the bill but has since faced numerous death threats. Bergman has not as of the publication of this article spoken out against these threats.
While many Republican members of Congress voted against the bill, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell praised the bill negotiated by the Biden White House with members of the Senate saying, “I think it was for the good of the country.”
Bergman has not yet explained why he voted against his district and the leader of his Party.