WASHINGTON — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack released the following statement following passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act by the U.S. Congress. The bill will now go to President Biden for his signature.
“This is a transformative, historic investment for America as President Biden delivers on his promise to rebuild the physical infrastructure of our country, grow the economy for decades to come, create good-paying, union jobs, and better position us to compete in a global economy.
“As we make significant progress in closing the digital divide and delivering 21st century broadband, farmers will have access to real-time information and new technologies needed to maintain their competitive edge, small businesses will be able to develop their markets, and rural communities can become better connected to jobs, telemedicine, and distance learning.
“As we repair crumbling roads and bridges and make much-needed investments in our ports, waterways, and rail transit, we will connect agriculture and rural communities to more markets and more economic opportunity. Upgraded power infrastructure, environmental remediation, and clean and safe drinking water will power and revitalize communities historically left behind.
“As we invest in green infrastructure, we will preserve our lands and natural resources and the outdoor recreation opportunities they provide for so many Americans. At the same time, we will respond to the climate crisis by increasing community resiliency and conducting critical work on our farms and in our forests to mitigate wildfires, support farmers and ranchers grappling with drought, and improve watersheds and water supply in the West.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to build up rural America with wealth that stays in rural communities, jobs you can raise a middle-class family on, and the ability to compete around the world. I’m thankful to those in Congress who drove this bipartisan legislation over the finish line, and to President Biden for his leadership for America’s working families. Now, let’s get to work and see to it that the benefits of modern infrastructure reach every corner of country.”