Press Releases

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) led members of the Virginia congressional delegation in requesting at least $159 million in federal funding for the Norfolk Harbor Widening and Deepening project. In a letter to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Acting Director Shalanda Young and Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Michael Connor, the lawmakers requested that this funding be approved in part through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Fiscal Year 2022 Work Plan, and through the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).

“Deepening Norfolk Harbor to 55 feet from its current 50 feet depth and widening Thimble Shoal Channel to 1,400 feet will enable safe, two-way traffic in and out of the harbor and will help prevent delays to commercial and military vessels – a necessity in today’s global trading landscape,” the lawmakers wrote. “Expanding Norfolk Harbor to allow for two-way traffic will also help prevent backlogs of commercial vessels that could cause costly delays and supply chain disruptions that are currently affecting some port facilities across the U.S.”

In their letter, the Members of Congress stressed the importance of federal funds in enabling the project’s on-time completion, as well as the important role the Port of Virginia plays in both the state and national economy.

“The Port of Virginia is a commercial and economic engine for the United States and continues to play an integral role in American foreign and domestic commerce and trade. Federal investment into this project will allow the Port to remain a prominent economic hub for the nation and a key player in domestic and international trade by generating more than $3.9 billion in net national economic development benefits,” they continued. 

Specifically, the lawmakers requested that a minimum of $75.3 million in funding be made available through the bipartisan infrastructure law that was passed earlier this year. These federal dollars would go towards fully funding construction of the inner harbor and advancing construction of the Atlantic Ocean Channel – measures that would help address capacity constraints at the Craney Island Dredged Material Management Area.

Additionally, the lawmakers requested that at least $83.7 million in funding be maintained in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Fiscal Year 2022 Work Plan, which allocates funding for civil works projects across the nation each fiscal year. Earlier this year, Sen. Warner celebrated the inclusion of $83.7 million in funding for the Norfolk Harbor project in President Biden’s budget request. These proposed funds were subsequently included in the spending bills approved by the House and Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittees. If included in the FY22 Work Plan, these federal dollars would fund construction for the Newport News Channel and a portion of the inner harbor.

Sens. Warner and Kaine have long been strong advocates for the Norfolk Harbor project. In February, Sen. Warner spoke about the importance of the project during a Senate Banking Committee hearing. Sen. Warner also led the Virginia congressional delegation in a letter to OMB requesting a New Start designation for the project in January of this year. This request was also made in 2020. In July, Sen. Kaine advocated for the project to Assistant Secretary Connor as part of his nomination hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee. In 2018, Sens. Warner and Kaine successfully fought for the inclusion of the Norfolk Harbor Widening and Deepening project, in addition to other coastal resiliency programs, in the bipartisan water infrastructure bill.

In addition to Sen. Warner, the letter was signed by U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Reps. Elaine Luria (D-VA), Bobby Scott (D-VA), Donald McEachin (D-VA), Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), Don Beyer (D-VA), Jennifer Wexton (D-VA), and Gerry Connolly (D-VA).

Full text of the letter is here and below.

The Honorable Shalanda Young

Acting Director

Office of Management and Budget

725 17th Street, NW

Washington, DC 20503

 

The Honorable Michael L. Connor

Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

441 G Street, NW

Washington, DC 20314 

 

Dear Acting Director Young and Assistant Secretary Connor:

As lawmakers representing the Commonwealth of Virginia, we write today concerning funding needs for the Norfolk Harbor and Channels Widening and Deepening project. In order to keep this essential project for Virginia on schedule, we request at least $159 million in federal funding in Fiscal Year 2022 through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Fiscal Year 2022 Work Plan and funding made available through the recently enacted bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).

The Port of Virginia is one of the largest and busiest ports on the East Coast and is one of the Commonwealth’s most powerful economic engines. Annually, the Port of Virginia is responsible for more than 400,000 jobs and $92 billion in spending across Virginia and generates more than seven and half percent of the Commonwealth’s Gross State Product. The Port’s reach also extends throughout the Mid-Atlantic and into the Ohio Valley and Midwest. U.S. exports account for more than half of its container movements and serve a robust rail market to and from American farmers and manufacturers throughout the Midwest and Ohio Valley.

The widening and deepening of Norfolk Harbor is essential to continue safe and timely passage of ever-increasing commercial and military vessels through the harbor. Deepening Norfolk Harbor to 55 feet from its current 50 feet depth and widening Thimble Shoal Channel to 1,400 feet will enable safe, two-way traffic in and out of the harbor and will help prevent delays to commercial and military vessels – a necessity in today’s global trading landscape. Expanding Norfolk Harbor to allow for two-way traffic will also help prevent backlogs of commercial vessels that could cause costly delays and supply chain disruptions that are currently affecting some port facilities across the U.S.

Construction on the first constructible element of the Norfolk Harbor project, deepening Thimble Shoal Channel – West, began in December 2019, 18 months ahead of schedule. In August 2021, the Port awarded a contract to deepen and widen Thimble Shoal Channel – East. Both segments are scheduled to be complete by August 2022. Both contracts are funded and administered by the Port and are in full compliance with federal standards under a Memorandum of Understanding with USACE in July 2017. Further, the construction work is eligible as Work-In-Kind once a Project Partnership Agreement is signed. The Commonwealth of Virginia has provided full funding of $20 million for Preconstruction Engineering and Design and $330 million for construction in its FY19-20 biennial budget.

We were pleased that the President’s FY22 Budget Request included $83.7 million and a New Start designation for the Norfolk Harbor project. We were also pleased to see this funding maintained in the House and Senate Fiscal Year 2022 Energy and Water Subcommittee Appropriations bills. As the Fiscal Year 2022 appropriations process continues, we respectfully request this amount be maintained in the USACE Fiscal Year 2022 Work Plan. This amount will fund construction for the Newport News Channel and a portion of the inner harbor. In addition, we request at least $75.3 million in funding through the recently signed IIJA to fully fund inner harbor construction and advance Atlantic Ocean Channel construction to address capacity constraints at the Craney Island Dredged Material Management Area. Allocating at least $159 million in federal funding to Norfolk Harbor in Fiscal Year 2022 will allow this nationally significant project to remain on track for completion by early 2025.

The Port of Virginia is a commercial and economic engine for the United States and continues to play an integral role in American foreign and domestic commerce and trade. Federal investment into this project will allow the Port to remain a prominent economic hub for the nation and a key player in domestic and international trade by generating more than $3.9 billion in net national economic development benefits. Completion of this project will also support the construction of the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project – a 2.6-gigawatt commercial offshore wind project off Virginia’s coast that will power up to 660,000 Virginia homes and the Commonwealth’s push to become a hub for offshore wind development along the East Coast.

Thank you for your consideration. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions regarding this request. We look forward to continue working with you to support this critical project for Virginia and our nation’s ports and harbors.

Sincerely,

###

 

 

WASHINGTON – On the busiest air travel day of the year, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) announced that airports in Virginia are expected to receive $399,740,660 in federal funds over the next five years as a result of the bipartisan infrastructure deal signed into law last week.

The funding will be distributed to Virginia airports over five years as follows:

  • Washington Dulles International: $120,399,725
  • Ronald Reagan Washington National: $116,734,485
  • Richmond International: $35,608,215
  • Norfolk International: $33,098,390
  • Charlottesville-Albemarle: $15,444,835
  • Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional: $14,977,645
  • Newport News/Williamsburg International: $10,194,005
  • Lynchburg Regional/Preston Glenn Field: $6,497,230
  • Shenandoah Valley Regional: $5,066,130
  • Manassas Regional/Harry P. Davis Field: $3,735,000
  • Leesburg Executive: $3,735,000
  • Virginia Highlands: $1,480,000
  • Virginia Tech/Montgomery Executive: $1,480,000
  • Culpeper Regional: $1,480,000
  • Danville Regional: $1,480,000
  • New River Valley: $1,480,000
  • Blue Ridge: $1,480,000
  • Chesapeake Regional: $1,480,000
  • Hampton Roads Executive: $1,480,000
  • Richmond Executive-Chesterfield County: $1,480,000
  • Hanover County Municipal: $1,480,000
  • Warrenton-Fauquier: $1,480,000
  • Winchester Regional: $1,480,000
  • Franklin Regional: $790,000
  • Front Royal-Warren County: $790,000
  • Twin County: $790,000
  • Louisa County/Freeman Field: $790,000
  • Luray Caverns: $790,000
  • Mountain Empire: $790,000
  • Accomack County: $790,000
  • Orange County: $790,000
  • Dinwiddie County: $790,000
  • New Kent County: $790,000
  • William M. Tuck: $790,000
  • Mecklenburg-Brunswick Regional: $790,000
  • Stafford Regional: $790,000
  • Suffolk Executive: $790,000
  • Tappahannock-Essex County: $790,000
  • Middle Peninsula Regional: $790,000
  • Emporia-Greensville Regional: $550,000
  • Farmville Regional: $550,000
  • Ingalls Field: $550,000
  • Lee County: $550,000
  • Tazewell County: $550,000
  • Tangier Island: $550,000
  • Lonesome Pine: $550,000
  • Brookneal/Campbell County: $550,000

The funding represents Virginia’s share of $15 billion in direct grants to airports expected around the country as a result of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a bipartisan, once-in-a-generation investment in our nation’s infrastructure and competitiveness that was negotiated by Sen. Warner and strongly supported by Sen. Kaine.

 

###

 

 WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Rob Portman (R-OH), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Jon Tester (D-MT) issued the following statement after the historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was signed into law. The law represents the largest investment in infrastructure in our nation’s history. 

“Today’s signing of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a victory for all Americans. When Congress puts America’s needs over politics, we make genuine progress. We were proud to work together on this historic investment in our nation’s core infrastructure to modernize roads and bridges, strengthen rail and transit systems, upgrade ports, expand broadband access, improve water systems, and increase the resiliency of the nation’s energy grid. It strengthens our economy without raising taxes or increasing inflation. This legislation will positively impact every American.” 

###

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) released the following statement after attending the White House bill signing ceremony for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act:

“It’s with great pride that we applaud President Biden’s signing of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act – a historic law that will bring critically-overdue funding into our communities and create a new generation of good-paying American jobs. The investments made possible by this law will bring Virginia’s infrastructure into the twenty-first century by fixing crumbling roadways, bolstering public transit systems, bridging the broadband gap, and strengthening our coastal resiliency. As former governors of Virginia, we know that getting a bill signed into law is only the beginning, and we’ll be working with folks on the ground to ensure this bill is implemented quickly and efficiently.”

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a comprehensive infrastructure package that delivers wins to communities across the Commonwealth and the nation to maintain our roads, bridges, rail systems, and other critical infrastructure needs, including:

Roads, Bridges, and Major Projects: 

  • $110 billion to repair and rebuild our roads and bridges with a focus on equity, safety for all users, including cyclists and pedestrians, and first of its kind attention to climate change mitigation and resilience. This includes:
    • $40 billion for bridge repair, replacement, and rehabilitation, which is the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system. 
    • $7 billion for Virginia highways and $537 million for Virginia bridge replacement and repairs over five years.
    • In Virginia, there are 577 bridges and over 2,124 miles of highway in poor condition.

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and Public Transit:

  • Renews the federal funding commitment for WMATA through fiscal year 2030 at current annual levels. The federal government’s commitment to WMATA funding is based on legislation previously introduced by Senators Warner and Kaine. 
  • An estimated $1.2 billion over five years to improve public transportation in Virginia.
  • Over $39 billion over five years for public transit systems across the nation. 

Rail: 

  • $66 billion for passenger and freight rail to upgrade speed, accessibility, efficiency, and resilience, including $22 billion in grants to Amtrak, $24 billion as federal-state partnership grants for Northeast Corridor modernization, $12 billion for partnership grants for intercity rail service including high-speed rail, $5 billion for rail improvement and safety grants, and $3 billion for grade crossing safety improvements.
  • These dollars will help Virginia fund current projects announced with CSX, Norfolk Southern, Amtrak, and VRE — such as the $1.9 billion Long Bridge project that both Senators Warner and Kaine supported by successfully passing their Long Bridge Act of 2020 as part of the FY21 Omnibus. The legislation allowed for the construction of a new Long Bridge across the Potomac River to double the capacity of rail crossing between Virginia and DC, but still required federal funding to move forward.          
    • This funding will improve reliability and travel options not just in Virginia, but along the East Coast.

Airports, Ports, and Waterways:

  • $25 billion to improve our nation’s airports including runways, gates, terminals, and concessions.
  • $16.6 billion for port infrastructure to fund waterway and coastal infrastructure, inland waterway improvements, and land ports of entry.

Army Corps of Engineers:  

  • $9.55 billion for Army Corps of Engineers infrastructure priorities like harbor dredging, coastal resiliency, and repairing damages to Corps Projects caused by natural disasters. 

Broadband: 

  • $65 billion for broadband deployment to increase access and decrease costs associated with connecting to the internet.
  • Virginia will receive a minimum allocation of $100 million to expand broadband across the Commonwealth, including providing access to the at least 473,000 Virginians who currently lack it. 
  • 1,908,000 or 23% of people in Virginia will be eligible for the Affordability Connectivity Benefit, which will help low-income families afford internet access.

Resilience: 

  • $47 billion for climate resilience measures that will help our communities weather increasingly severe storms, droughts, floods, fires, heat waves, and sea level rise, including funding for FEMA flood mitigation grants, making infrastructure investments to increase coastal resilience, and improving mapping and data so that households and businesses can better protect themselves from future flood events.
  • $238 million for the Chesapeake Bay Program for ecosystem resiliency and restoration.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging: 

  • $7.5 billion to build electric vehicle charging stations across the country along highway corridors to facilitate long-distance travel and within communities to provide convenient charging where people live, work, and shop. 
  • $2.5 billion for electric, zero-emission school buses.
  • An estimated $106 million for Virginia over five years to support the expansion of an EV charging network in the Commonwealth. Virginia will also have the opportunity to apply for the $2.5 billion in grant funding dedicated to EV charging in the bill.

Support for Minority Businesses:

  • The legislation includes a provision based on Senator Kaine and Senator Wicker’s Reaching America’s Rural Minority Businesses Act, introduced in May 2021. 
  • The provision will enable the Minority Business Development Agency to partner with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) to establish business centers to support minority-owned small businesses in rural areas to provide education, training, and technical assistance to help them grow and thrive.

###

 

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) released the following statement applauding House passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act:

“With tonight’s passage in the House of Representatives, Congress is finally doing what it has been promising for generations: investing in America’s infrastructure. This bipartisan package will fix crumbling roads and bridges, improve travel by air, rail and water, expand broadband access and boost our economic recovery. We are proud that this bill is now heading to the President’s desk for signature, and we look forward to working with our colleagues and President Biden in the days and weeks ahead to enact further priorities to help Virginians.”  

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a comprehensive infrastructure package that delivers wins to communities across the Commonwealth and the nation to maintain our roads, bridges, rail systems, and other critical infrastructure needs, including:

Roads, Bridges, and Major Projects: 

·       $110 billion to repair and rebuild our roads and bridges with a focus on equity, safety for all users, including cyclists and pedestrians, and first of its kind attention to climate change mitigation and resilience. This includes:

o   $40 billion for bridge repair, replacement, and rehabilitation, which is the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system. 

o   $7 billion for Virginia highways and $537 million for Virginia bridge replacement and repairs over five years.

o   In Virginia, there are 577 bridges and over 2,124 miles of highway in poor condition.

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and Public Transit:

·       Renews the federal funding commitment for WMATA through fiscal year 2030 at current annual levels. The federal government’s commitment to WMATA funding is based on legislation previously introduced by Senators Warner and Kaine. 

·       An estimated $1.2 billion over five years to improve public transportation in Virginia.

·       Over $39 billion over five years for public transit systems across the nation. 

Rail: 

·       $66 billion for passenger and freight rail to upgrade speed, accessibility, efficiency, and resilience, including $22 billion in grants to Amtrak, $24 billion as federal-state partnership grants for Northeast Corridor modernization, $12 billion for partnership grants for intercity rail service including high-speed rail, $5 billion for rail improvement and safety grants, and $3 billion for grade crossing safety improvements.

·       These dollars will help Virginia fund current projects announced with CSX, Norfolk Southern, Amtrak, and VRE — such as the $1.9 billion Long Bridge project that both Senators Warner and Kaine supported by successfully passing their Long Bridge Act of 2020 as part of the FY21 Omnibus. The legislation allowed for the construction of a new Long Bridge across the Potomac River to double the capacity of rail crossing between Virginia and DC, but still required federal funding to move forward.          

o   This funding will improve reliability and travel options not just in Virginia, but along the East Coast.

Airports, Ports, and Waterways:

·       $25 billion to improve our nation’s airports including runways, gates, terminals, and concessions.

·       $17 billion for port infrastructure to fund waterway and coastal infrastructure, inland waterway improvements, and land ports of entry.

Army Corps of Engineers:  

·       $9.55 billion for Army Corps of Engineers infrastructure priorities like harbor dredging, coastal resiliency, and repairing damages to Corps Projects caused by natural disasters. 

Broadband: 

·       $65 billion for broadband deployment to increase access and decrease costs associated with connecting to the internet.

·       Virginia will receive a minimum allocation of $100 million to expand broadband across the Commonwealth, including providing access to the at least 473,000 Virginians who currently lack it. 

·       1,908,000 or 23% of people in Virginia will be eligible for the Affordability Connectivity Benefit, which will help low-income families afford internet access.

Resilience: 

·       $47 billion for climate resilience measures that will help our communities weather increasingly severe storms, droughts, floods, fires, heat waves, and sea level rise, including funding for FEMA flood mitigation grants, making infrastructure investments to increase coastal resilience, and improving mapping and data so that households and businesses can better protect themselves from future flood events.

·       $238 million for the Chesapeake Bay Program for ecosystem resiliency and restoration.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging: 

·       $7.5 billion to build electric vehicle charging stations across the country along highway corridors to facilitate long-distance travel and within communities to provide convenient charging where people live, work, and shop. 

·       $2.5 billion for electric, zero-emission school buses.

·       An estimated $106 million for Virginia over five years to support the expansion of an EV charging network in the Commonwealth. Virginia will also have the opportunity to apply for the $2.5 billion in grant funding dedicated to EV charging in the bill.

Support for Minority Businesses:

·       The legislation includes a provision based on Senator Kaine and Senator Wicker’s Reaching America’s Rural Minority Businesses Act, introduced in May 2021. 

·       The provision will enable the Minority Business Development Agency to partner with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) to establish business centers to support minority-owned small businesses in rural areas to provide education, training, and technical assistance to help them grow and thrive.

###

 

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) issued the following statement in response to reports that General Motors plans to halt production temporarily at nearly all North American plants due to the shortage of semiconductor chips:

“The continuing impact of the chip shortage – epitomized most recently in the news that GM will be forced to idle plants across North America – speaks to the urgency of passing bipartisan legislation to fund new semiconductor production in the United States. While the impact of this funding will not solve the global semiconductor shortage overnight, the longer we wait, the worse this supply chain crunch will become. I would urge my House colleagues to pass the legislation funding my bill as soon as possible.” 

Sen. Warner, co-chair of the Senate Cybersecurity Caucus and former technology entrepreneur, has long sounded the alarm about the importance of investing in domestic semiconductor manufacturing. In June, he applauded the Senate passage of the United States Innovation and Competition Act, bipartisan legislation that includes Warner-led provisions to shore up American leadership in the microelectronics industry.  

The United States Innovation and Competition Act – also known by an earlier name, the Endless Frontier Act – would help invest in domestic semiconductor manufacturing, packaging and advanced research and development by investing $52 billion to implement the CHIPS for America Act, a bipartisan law championed by Sen. Warner to help restore semiconductor manufacturing back to American soil.

 

WASHINGTON  U.S. Senators Mark Warner (D-Va.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Angus King (I-Maine), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.)issued the following statement:

“We are proud to announce we have reached a bipartisan agreement on our proposal to make the strongest investment in America’s critical infrastructure in a generation. Our plan will create good-paying jobs in communities across our country without raising taxes. Reaching this agreement was no easy task—but our constituents expect us to put in the hard work and show that two parties can still work together to address the needs of the American people. We appreciate our colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and the administration, working with us to get this done and we look forward to earning broad, bipartisan support among our Senate colleagues for this historic legislation.”

###

WASHINGTON — Prior to Infrastructure Week 2021, U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), a member of the Senate Finance and Banking Committees, alongside Sens. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), John Cornyn (R-TX), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Chris Coons (D-DE) today reintroduced the Reinventing Economic Partnerships and Infrastructure Redevelopment (REPAIR) Actto help close America’s widening infrastructure gap, create jobs, and ensure America’s global competitiveness in the 21st century by establishing an Infrastructure Financing Authority to provide loans and loan guarantees, complement existing funding mechanisms and expand overall infrastructure investment. Companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA) and Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH). 

Currently, the U.S. faces a $2.59 trillion shortfall in infrastructure needs, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Furthermore, to close the nearly $2.6 trillion 10-year investment gap, meet future needs, and restore the U.S. global competitive advantage, ASCE estimates that all levels of government and the private sector must increase investment to 3.5% from 2.5% of U.S. gross domestic product by 2025. According to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report, the U.S. lags behind twelve other nations in overall infrastructure. For years, the federal government has struggled to come up with the funding necessary to close the widening infrastructure gap, which is why the REPAIR Act will leverage public dollars to incentivize private sector infrastructure investment.  

The REPAIR Act would establish a fiscally responsible Infrastructure Financing Authority (IFA) to complement existing infrastructure funding through loans and loan guarantees. Designed to become self-sustaining over time, this IFA would be independent of any federal agency and instead, would be run by an appointed Chief Executive Officer and a Board of Directors, while still being subjected to strong congressional and federal oversight. The IFA would only fund economically viable projects of at least $50 million, or $10 million for projects in rural areas, for which five percent of IFA funding would be reserved. In order to be considered for funding, proposed projects would undergo rigorous analysis, and must show clear public benefit, meet economic, technical and environmental standards, and be backed by a dedicated revenue stream.

“The time has come to put sizeable, long-term, tangible capital investment into our nation's infrastructure. From bumpy roads to worn down bridges to dilapidated airports to overwhelmed water and sewage systems, commuters, homeowners, travelers, and our overall economy have become too familiar with our nation's crumbling infrastructure, which costs us tens of billions of dollars every year," said Sen. Warner. “We must enact bold legislation to modernize our infrastructure, and the REPAIR Act will need to be a part of that equation.”

“Missouri is a national transportation hub and location is our top competitive advantage,” said Sen. Blunt. “To keep that advantage, we need to invest in improving the safety and reliability of our roads, bridges, rail networks, and waterways. I’m proud to join Senator Warner in introducing this bipartisan bill to help states and localities leverage public-private partnerships to advance their infrastructure priorities.”

“We need a twenty-first-century infrastructure network that meets the demands of our twenty-first-century economy—from safe bridges and modern highways, to improved rail, port, and water infrastructure,” said Sen. Klobuchar. “The REPAIR Act will take advantage of public-private partnerships to improve our infrastructure, all while creating jobs and supporting communities.”

“Fixing our crumbling roads and bridges is not only a matter of convenience for those who use them, it also impacts our economy and our competitive advantage on the global stage,” said Sen. Cornyn. “This legislation would boost investment in infrastructure and get the private sector involved to help create jobs and improve Texans’ quality of life.”  

“This bipartisan bill will help fix our roads, bridges, and highways—long neglected and decades behind other nations. Through a mix of private and public funding in a dedicated infrastructure bank, we will be able to modernize and prepare for the future to create millions of high quality jobs and a more equitable, sustainable economy,” said Sen. Blumenthal.

“Now more than ever we need to identify a long-term funding solution for our infrastructure needs,” said Sen. Graham. “The REPAIR Act is a common sense proposal that would bring together private sector investments and public sector resources to finance important infrastructure projects. Our proposal would ensure taxpayer dollars are used responsibly, and help create jobs.”

“We've agreed in Congress for a long time that we need to invest in American infrastructure. Now we are finally on the cusp of meaningful action,” said Sen. Coons. “It would be a lost opportunity not to harness capital from the private sector to help finance this historic investment in modernizing our roads, bridges, rail, tunnels, broadband, electrical, and water systems. That is why I am glad to stand with colleagues from both sides of the aisle today in reintroducing the REPAIR Act. This bipartisan bill would create a dedicated infrastructure financing mechanism to leverage public dollars and incentivize private sector investment to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure.”

“San Diego knows that functioning infrastructure goes hand in hand with economic growth and competitiveness. To build back better, America’s crumbling roads, bridges, railways, transmission lines, water, and broadband systems need significant, long-term investments that go beyond just maintenance,” said Rep. Peters. “By establishing an infrastructure bank that connects federal funds with private capital to cover the cost of critical projects, the REPAIR Act will bring our infrastructure systems up to speed while keeping fiscal sustainability in mind.”

“If we are going to truly rebuild our nation’s infrastructure it’s going to take a broad mix of both private and public dollars,” Rep. Gonzalez said. “The REPAIR Act will equip the United States with a new financing tool to better leverage private dollars. This will allow for further investments into local infrastructure needs that will help create jobs and strengthen our communities.”

Full text of the bill is available here.

###

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine reintroduced the Virginia Wilderness Additions Act, legislation that would add a total of 5,600 acres to two existing wilderness areas within the George Washington National Forest in Bath County, Virginia. A wilderness designation is the highest level of protection for public land under federal law. These additions were recommended by the U.S. Forest Service in 2014 and endorsed by members of the GW National Forest Stakeholder Collaborative, a group of forest users that has worked together for seven years to agree on acceptable locations in the GW for wilderness, timber harvest, trails, and other uses.   

“These wilderness designations will preserve these beautiful wild areas of the George Washington National Forest in perpetuity,” the Senators said. “The good-faith work that went into this bill by local stakeholders shows that land-use decisions need not be adversarial and that we can provide for sustainable use of National Forest lands for many purposes while also preserving Virginia’s most treasured spaces. I’m thankful for all the local officials and conservationists who’ve worked together over the years to create this plan, and we’ll continue working to ensure this bill is signed into law.”

The Senate passed Warner and Kaine’s bill in January 2020, but the legislation was not signed into law.

 ###

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine announced $2,390,400 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide much needed infrastructure improvements around the Commonwealth. The funding was awarded through the Community Facilities Direct Loans & Grants Program and the Community Facilities Loan Guarantees Program, both administered by USDA’s Rural Development. These programs offer direct loans, loan guarantees, and grants to develop or improve essential public facilities in rural communities.

“We’re glad to see significant federal funding go toward investing in the infrastructure of our rural communities,” said the Senators. “These investments will help these regions better meet the needs of the communities they serve while continuing to address public safety challenges amid the COVID pandemic.”

The funding will be awarded through a grant-loan combination. A breakdown of the funding is below:

  • Greensville County will receive a loan of $1,146,200 to purchase a new E-1 ladder fire truck for the Greensville Fire Department.
  • Town of Blackstone will receive a grant of $75,000 and a loan of $78,000 to purchase a new sanitation vehicle. Additionally, Blackstone will receive two grants totaling $150,000 and two loans totaling $104,000 to purchase two new dump trucks for the town.
  • Richmond County will receive a grant of $21,000 and a loan of $35,000 to purchase two law enforcement vehicles.
  • Richmond County Volunteer Fire Department Incin Warsaw, Virginia will receive a grant of $75,000 and a loan of $375,000 to purchase a fire truck with a 3,000-gallon capacity to improve access to rural areas.
  • Russell County Public Service Authority in Lebanon, Virginia will receive a grant of $75,000 and a loan of $97,700 to purchase six service trucks.
  • Town of Exmore will receive a grant of $54,000 and a loan of $19,000 purchase a used street sweeper.
  • Town of Brodnax will receive a grant of $66,000 to purchase three new sewer pumps and pump station controllers.
  • Drakes Branch Volunteer Fire Department will receive a grant of $19,500 to purchase a utility terrain vehicle (UTV), trailer, and equipment.

 ###