By Tristin Amezcua-Hogan Associate Editor/Reporter

Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, the former Mayor of Kansas City who has represented the 5th District of Missouri since 2005, is the newest chairman of the Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development and Insurance. For Rep. Cleaver, the role has been his dream since he was first elected, saying that it “is the only position I’ve ever wanted in Washington. I am blessed.” The local impacts of his new role are sure to be dramatic, something quickly becoming obvious. The new Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge made Kansas City, Missouri her first official visit at the end of May, presumably due to Rep. Cleaver’s position overseeing HUD. Rep. Cleaver has assumed the role right as Washington prepares to pass a truly transformative infrastructure bill that would include over $200 billion toward housing and over $115 billion to modernize roads and bridges. The Congressman says that he expects the new infrastructure bill to “help not just Kansas City, but the entire district and country. The reach is outside of Kansas City.

If we can get this money, the things we have been dreaming of and hoping for will expand. We will have new workers going to work every morning, with projects we haven’t even envisioned becoming possible. Shovel ready projects.” In conversation, the Congressman touted this project as a generation-defining bill, both for Americans and for unions who will be bolstered by the influx of projects. The Congressman says he has been talking to union leaders “about all the things that we want to get done, to build up and strengthen organized labor. Labor is in the business of building and constructing America, and that is exactly what those dollars will do. There should be no delay considering how far we have fallen behind on infrastructure. We have a once in a generation opportunity in the United States and we in Kansas City will be taking advantage of it.”

The Congressman says that a majority of Americans support getting the infrastructure bill passed, regardless of party identity, and that President Biden has committed to getting it across the finish line. This new infrastructure bill will be bipartisan in support from Americans. On June 7, Representative Emanuel Cleaver, II announced the inclusion of more than $22.6 million for infrastructure projects in the Fifth Congressional District of Missouri through the INVEST in America Act, a comprehensive surface transportation package introduced by the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee.

“I’ve been a long-time proponent of community funding requests making a comeback in Congress because no one understands the needs of these communities better than those who represent them,” said Congressman Cleaver. “Because of the reimplementation of these requests, I’m thrilled to announce that over $22.6 million for five separate transportation projects in Missouri’s Fifth Congressional District were included in the T&I Committee’s comprehensive surface transportation bill. From Lawson to Odessa to 18th & Vine in Kansas City, these projects are desperately needed to rebuild aging infrastructure, generate economic activity, and help communities across the district build back better from the pandemic. As this bill makes its way through Congress, I will do everything in my power to ensure each of these projects are included when the final infrastructure package is signed into law.”