Politics

Hoosier lawmakers vote for infrastructure bill along party lines

(WISH) — All seven of Indiana’s Republican House members voted against the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that passed Congress Friday night.

The delegation’s Democratic Representatives, Frank Mrvan and Andre Carson voted for the legislation.

“The most significant investments in passenger rail, the most significant investment in 50 years in roads and bridges, the most significant investment in 70 years, and more investment in public transit than we’ve ever, ever made — period,” President Biden said Saturday.

The bill also invests in airports and seaports and builds a national network of electric car charging stations. It protects infrastructure from climate change effects and cyber attacks and improves access to high speed internet.

“We are going to fund a lot of great projects improve safety on roads, to enhance multimodal terminals across the country,” said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

Funding to help improve roads goes out immediately.

Critics of the bill say the price tag is too high.

“We should not be voting on legislation of this magnitude in the middle of the night. It is full of liberal priorities unrelated to infrastructure or transportation. The price tag exceeds anything reasonable and further adds to our country’s ballooning debt,” said Rep. Jim Banks (R).

But the President said the legislation is paid for with a tax on the wealthy.

“This bill is fiscally responsible — that’s a fancy way of saying it is fully paid for. It doesn’t raise the deficit by a single penny,” he said.

Amtrak said earlier this summer that the infrastructure bill would help pay for expanding its network. The rail line wants to add service between Indianapolis and Louisville and increase frequency of service between Indianapolis and Chicago.