ST. PAUL — Minnesota's two United States senators on Tuesday, Aug. 10, voted in support of a $1 trillion infrastructure plan, noting its potential benefits to broadband expansion and roadway projects around the state.
Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, both Democrats, voted with the majority to approve the package, which passed on a 69-30 vote. While the senators expressed optimism about the measure's prospects, its oath forward in the House of Representatives remained in question.
A bipartisan coalition put aside concerns about the bill to advance the substantial plan to fund roadway improvements, freight rail projects, broadband internet service rollout and water infrastructure. The package is a priority for the Biden Administration and a first step in its “Build Back Better” agenda. And it would be funded by repurposing federal COVID-19 aid and other spending.
Klobuchar on Tuesday said the plan sets up many potential benefits for Minnesota, including expanded internet access and updated infrastructure to help transport commodities for export.
“This is a great piece of legislation for Minnesota because it is about anyone that has been driving over roads with potholes, or been in congestion or have their internet give out and they can’t send emails when they’re driving around the state or they’re at home and they can’t do their homework or access a business, that’s this bill,” Klobuchar said. “This bill is going to fix so many problems because we’ve never seen such a historic investment in infrastructure in our time.”
How they voted
- Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D): Yes
- Sen. Tina Smith (D): Yes
- Sen. John Hoeven (R): Yes
- Sen. Kevin Cramer (R): Yes
- Sen. John Thune (R): No
- Sen. Mike Rounds (R): Absent
On Twitter, Smith said the proposal, if approved, could make the U.S. more competitive on the world stage and fuel job growth.
"We just delivered a once-in-a-generation package that will make life better for millions of Minnesotans, create a generation of good-paying jobs and economic growth, and position the United States to succeed in the 21st Century," Smith said in a tweet following the vote.
Republican senators who opposed the bill raised concerns about its price tag and its impact on the national debt. The proposal is projected to spur $256 billion to deficits over the decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office.