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New Mexico Democrats Tout Approval Of Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

Senator Ben Ray Luján

New Mexico Democrats are touting the approval of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, bipartisan legislation that is set to make significant advancements across the nation. New Mexico alone will receive at least $3.5 billion dollars to improve roads, bridges, water infrastructure, and broadband access. U.S. Senator Ben Ray Lujan says it’s a crucial opportunity on many fronts.

“From tackling the climate change crisis head on, to expanding broadband access, and providing boosts to small businesses, this Bipartisan Legislation pushes our country forward at the right moment, precisely when help is needed the most,” said Lujan.

One aspect of the bipartisan infrastructure deal is Senator Lujan’s Regrow Act, which aims to clean up gas wells while creating new jobs.

“This legislation also includes my Regrow Act, which is legislation I authored to clean up the thousands of orphaned oil and gas wells that leak methane and pose serious health risks to our communities. I am proud that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Legislation contributes over 4 billion dollars to plug these abandoned wells and safeguard our environment,” said Lujan.

U.S. Representative Teresa Leger Fernandez says the new investments in water infrastructure are also extremely important.

“I also advocated for investment in our water infrastructure. It is simply unacceptable that 10 million American households and 400,000 schools and childcare centers don’t have safe drinking water. Our communities have a right to safe drinking water. Now, New Mexico will get close to 355 million dollars over the next five years to drill the wells, bury the pipes, and build a clean water infrastructure all across our state,” said Leger Fernandez.

Broadband is also a major component of the bipartisan infrastructure deal. U.S. Representative Melanie Stansbury says it’s important to increase broadband internet access in rural communities.

“We all know that New Mexicans across our state, especially in our rural and tribal areas, do not have access to broadband. Broadband is foundational to have a thriving economy, to have our kids be able to succeed in school, and for us to simply go about our daily lives. We desperately need those investments in broadband. Our state is poised and ready to put those dollars to work, and we must make sure that every New Mexican can connect to high-speed broadband across the state,” said Stansbury.

Stansbury says the bipartisan infrastructure deal also focuses on combatting the climate crisis, with investments in clean energy.

“Investing in clean energy infrastructure, our grid, our energy, and our vehicle infrastructure is crucial to addressing our carbon footprint and making good on those promises to address the climate crisis,” said Stansbury.

The bipartisan infrastructure deal may be paired with the Build Back Better Act, which is still being debated in Congress.  Senator Lujan describes the impact of the legislation.

“Now it is critical that the United States Senate presses forward to finish the job and deliver the Build Back Better Act for the American people. The Build Back Better Act provides wanted generational relief to lower the everyday costs that burden working families, from healthcare to childcare. It also makes the largest investment to combat the climate crisis, investing 555 billion over the next ten years. You have to make investments in New Mexico because everyone needs access to jobs opportunities, so we need to invest in our state,” said Lujan.

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich says the bipartisan infrastructure deal provide the money to make New Mexico more competitive with neighboring states.

“This is literally the biggest thing to happen in New Mexico in infrastructure since I25 and I40 were built. It is that historic, and it is going to help us to compete with our surrounding states and really level the playing field for the lack of infrastructure investment that we have seen in New Mexico for too long,” said Heinrich.

New Mexico’s entire Democratic Congressional delegation voted for the bill.  The state’s lone Republican, Representative Yvette Herrell, voted against it.