Statement by Senate Democratic Leader Zach Wahls:
Tomorrow, November 11, Veterans Day observances will be held across Iowa in towns small and large. We will come together to recognize American service members who have served our state and our country. We are deeply grateful for their service. Thank you.
Next, I’d like to talk about why the passage of the bipartisan federal infrastructure deal is such great news for Iowa.
Thanks to President Biden and Representative Cindy Axne, at least five billion federal dollars will arrive in Iowa over the next five years to help us rebuild the crumbling infrastructure in our state. And Iowa will get even more help in areas where we need it most, specifically with bridges, rural broadband, and water treatment systems.
For example, Iowa has more bridges needing repair than any other state. President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure bill will deploy more than $400 million to fix those bridges. Even more help will likely come from competitive grants.
In addition, Iowa ranks 45th in the nation in terms of broadband connectivity. Iowa Republicans failed to make meaningful investments in rural broadband, but President Biden and Representative Axne got it done, and there is $65 billion in this bill for rural broadband nationwide.
Finally, many Iowa communities are dealing with aging water treatment systems and lead pipe contamination. There are hundreds of millions of dollars in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal to help address the water problems facing Iowa.
All in all, the economic boost from this landmark legislation will create Iowa jobs and new Iowa opportunities for our families and communities for years and decades to come.
That’s why I want to thank Representative Cindy Axne, who was the only one of Iowa’s four U.S. Representatives to vote for the bipartisan infrastructure bill. She was there for Iowans when the chips were down.
Congressional Democrats accomplished this in less than a year.
Iowa Republicans have had complete control in Iowa for five years. What have they done?
So far, the results have been higher prices, stagnant wages, Iowa businesses unable to find workers, and working parents unable to find affordable child care.
President Biden and Representative Axne have handed Governor Reynolds and Republican leaders an extraordinary opportunity.
I call on Iowa’s Republican officeholders to set aside party differences and work with all Iowans—especially with Iowa’s local city and county leaders—to make the most of this rare opportunity to move Iowa forward.