While the original intention was to have Rep. Emanuel Cleaver speak in person, the demands of office kept the Congressman of Missouri’s 5th Congressional district from leaving the nation’s capital in Washington D.C.. That didn’t stop Rep. Cleaver from giving an exclusive presentation from afar to the large group of local union representatives gathered together on December 12th to hear about the newly passed Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework.

“It is a game changer. With the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill passed and signed into law, President Biden is delivering on his promise to hardworking families to help create good paying union jobs and to invest in the roads and bridges that are the backbone of our economy. For too long, policy makers have celebrated infrastructure week without actually delivering. It became a joke. Not anymore. President Biden worked across the aisle and forged a consensus to deliver for the American people,” said Rep. Cleaver.

“This transformational piece of legislation will make historic and much needed investments in our metropolitan area’s infrastructure, while at the same time creating jobs and economic growth across our state and country. This is a once in a generation investment in American workers that will work to rebuild the middle class…The Bipartisan Infrastructure law will create an average of 2 million jobs a year over the next decade and get America to full employment. Think about who is going to get those jobs.”

Some highlights from the bill include: $55 billion to deliver safe drinking water to the 10 million American households that lack safe drinking water, $65 billion in broadband infrastructure to provide access to quality internet for the 30 million Americans who lack it, $110 billion in road, bridge, and other major infrastructure development projects, $39 billion to modernize the 24,000 buses, 5,000 rail cars, and thousands of miles of rail track in need of replacement, and $7.5 billion to build a national network of Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations across the United States.

Missouri will receive: $6.5 billion to repair roads and highways, $866 million to improve water infrastructure and remove lead pipes, $674 million to improve public transportation options, $484 million for bridge replacement and repairs, $246 million for airport and port infrastructure, $100 million to expand access to high-speed internet, $99 million to build a network of EV chargers across the state, and $40 million to protect against severe weather and cyber attacks.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law also makes more than $100 billion in federal funding available through competitive grant programs, such as: $12.5 billion for the Bridge Investment Program, $8 billion for Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) Grant Program, $7.5 billion for RAISE (formerly BUILD) Grant Program, $5 billion for a new National Infrastructure Project Assistance Grant Program, Fleet Transition Program to convert public buses and bus facilities to low or no-emissions, State Energy Program to transition government vehicles and public transition to electric vehicle, Energy Efficiency Improvements at Public Schools to electrify public schools, school buses, and bus fleet infrastructure, Lead Reduction Grant Program, Water Infrastructure and Workforce Investment Grants, Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grant Program, and a home weatherization grant program.

In regards to union strengthening, there is $1 billion for occupational specific skills training and the overwhelming majority of funding will be subject to Davis-Bacon requirements, protecting wages for millions of workers. The plan also strengthens “Buy American” requirements and closes loopholes to ensure the federal government is spending taxpayer dollars on American-made products that support American companies and workers.

Rep. Cleaver was an integral part of getting President Biden across the finish line. He was the only member of the House of Representatives from Missouri that voted for this bill. He has also been a major player under the pro-union leader’s administration, which is huge for the Kansas City-metro. Rep. Cleaver and Rep. Davids, of Kansas, are both close allies of President Biden. That close alliance means that the people of Kansas City likely have the President’s ear more than they have since President Truman in the mid-1940s and early 1950s. This has proven to be the most pro-union worker presidential administration in the last seventy years or more.

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