Source: United States Senator for Ohio Sherrod Brown
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today announced that the Senate’s bipartisan infrastructure bill will include his Bridge Investment Act and his Build America Buy America Act, two bills he has led for years to create and support jobs in Ohio communities, and make local economies more competitive. The Bridge Investment Act would provide significant funding to repair and replace nationally and regionally significant bridges, like the Brent Spence Bridge. Brown’s Build America Buy America Act would apply strong Buy America rules to all taxpayer-funded infrastructure and public works projects – to ensure American taxpayer dollars support American jobs. Brown worked with his colleagues to ensure his two bills were included in the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
The bill text is being finalized now and is expected to be voted on this week. Brown will continue fighting for final passage of the package with these bills included, as well as several other provisions to upgrade critical infrastructure like broadband, waterways, and public transit—all without raising taxes on working families.
“Rebuilding Ohio bridges and infrastructure with American-made steel and products will create jobs and make our communities more competitive. Ohio has more than 3,200 bridges that need to be repaired or replaced to make them safer and reduce congestion – and Ohio communities can’t shoulder this cost alone,” said Brown. “This investment in Ohio, combined with my strong Buy America provisions, is a recipe for job creation in every region of our state, and will ensure Ohio tax dollars support Ohio businesses and good-paying, Ohio jobs that cannot be shipped overseas.”
Brown’s Bridge Investment Act, which will provide $12.5 billion in funding to repair and replace nationally and regionally significant bridges, like the Brent Spence Bridge in Ohio—part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act’s historic investment. The package also provides Ohio $9.8 billion of formula funding to repair, replace, and upgrade roads and bridges throughout the state.
- Brown’s legislation will establish a competitive grant program to assist with the repair and replacement of deficient and outdated bridges and ease the national bridge repair backlog.
- Brown has been pushing for this legislation since 2019.
- This will provide the funding necessary to replace bridges like the Brent Spence, which carries 3 percent of the nation’s GDP every day.
- The Brent Spence will immediately be eligible for grant assistance, and Brown has vowed to ensure this bridge is a top priority in this new program. Brown’s bridge program will provide a grant agreement to fund half of the Brent Spence replacement, with new formula funding to Ohio and Kentucky providing additional support to the project.
- Brown’s legislation and the additional formula in the bipartisan bill will accelerate aid to Ohio’s 3,200 bridges that need repairs. The 2020 American Society of Civil Engineers’ Report Card for America’s Infrastructure found there are at least 46,154 bridges in the U.S. that are ‘structurally deficient’ and 231,000 still need repair and preservation work.
Brown’s Build America Buy America Act will apply strong Buy America rules to all taxpayer-funded infrastructure and public works projects:
- While these promises were not fulfilled during the Trump presidency, Brown continued fighting for American workers, and reintroduced the bill again earlier this year.
- President Biden’s recent executive action has strengthened Buy America rules, but until Brown’s legislation is enacted, Buy America will not be fully implemented with respect to all federal programs that provide grants for the construction of infrastructure. This means American-made iron, steel, and manufactured products were required for some infrastructure projects, but not all. When Chinese- or Russian- made steel and other products are used instead of American products, it steals jobs from U.S. workers.
- Brown’s legislation will implement Buy America rules across the board – ensuring that American taxpayer dollars are used to purchase American-made products for all federally funded infrastructure projects – closing loopholes and securing major investment in American-made iron, steel, and manufactured products.