ATLANTA – The U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan infrastructure spending bill Tuesday that would steer more than $11 billion toward highways, transit, airports and electric vehicle charging stations in Georgia.
The $1 trillion legislation, which cleared the Senate 69-30 and now moves to the U.S. House of Representatives, includes $8.9 billion for highway projects in the Peach State, $1.3 billion for transit expansion, $225 million to repair bridges, $619 million for airport improvements and $135 million to build EV charging stations.
It also contains at least $100 million to expand broadband connectivity in Georgia.
“Today’s historic bipartisan vote to upgrade our infrastructure, promote clean energy, and create good-paying jobs will benefit Georgians for generations to come,” said Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., who voted for the bill along with fellow Georgia Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock.
“The investments we make now will set us forward on a path toward sustainability, innovation, and world-class transit and transportation across our state. And we have proven that America’s elected leaders can rise above partisanship to serve the national interest.”
The vast majority of the transit funding earmarked for Georgia – $923 million – would go to transit systems in metro Atlanta. However, 15 other transit agencies across the state would receive allocations ranging from $5.8 million to $33 million, including systems serving Augusta, Savannah, Athens, Macon, Columbus, Brunswick and Rome.
Georgia also would share in funding for repairs and upgrades of public schools, port improvements, flood mitigation and replacement of lead pipes.
While 19 Republicans voted for the infrastructure bill in the Senate, it’s unclear whether it will pass in the House. Progressive Democrats in the House have vowed not to support the legislation unless the Senate passes a $3.5 trillion bill aimed at funding investments in “human” infrastructure including free community college tuition, subsidized child care, housing and health care.
Senate Republicans who opposed the infrastructure bill argued it would further increase an already huge federal deficit.