Johnson, Bourdeaux COVID Infrastructure Bill Gains Support from Industry Leaders and Lawmakers

October 28, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – This week, U.S. Reps. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) and Carolyn Bourdeaux (D-GA-07) introduced the State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Fiscal Recovery, Infrastructure, and Disaster Relief Flexibility Act, to make various infrastructure investments eligible for payment with existing unspent COVID-19 relief funds.  

Industry leaders and Members of Congress expressed support for the State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Fiscal Recovery, Infrastructure, and Disaster Relief Flexibility Act:

“States are sitting on billions of COVID-19 relief dollars from the federal government far exceeding their COVID relief needs,” Representative David Rouzer (R-NC-07). “I’m proud to cosponsor this common sense bill, which will allow states to use this excess funding for their infrastructure needs as well as disaster relief.”

“I am proud that my Direct Support for Communities Act funding formula is delivering dollars to counties, towns, and villages across upstate New York and the United States,” said Representative Antonio Delgado (D-NY-19). “Since the American Rescue Plan was passed, I have met with local leaders who are using this essential funding to invest in infrastructure, fight addiction, and support our veterans. I want to thank Representatives Johnson, Cuellar, and Bourdeaux for their partnership to expand the eligible usages of this important funding. This bipartisan legislation will give our local governments additional flexibility to address disaster events, improve local infrastructure, expand affordable housing, and more.”

“Investing in our nation’s infrastructure is a top priority for me, so I’m proud to cosponsor this bipartisan bill to give states like Alabama the flexibility they need to spend unused COVID-19 relief dollars on critical investments in our nation’s infrastructure,” said Representative Jerry Carl (R-AL-01). Unfortunately, Nancy Pelosi refuses to bring this bill to a vote because she is more focused on raising our taxes, bankrupting America, and playing political games. It’s time to put the American people first and pass this bipartisan, commonsense bill.”

“It’s important that we understand every state, town, and district has unique needs coming out of the pandemic,” said Representative Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ-05). “Enabling our towns to utilize unused COVID-19 relief to improve their local infrastructure allows local communities to decide what they need the most. With this bipartisan legislation, we will help our states, and communities in North Jersey and nationwide, to make the infrastructure and transportation improvements they need and to ensure that we can fully recover from the pandemic. This bill has already passed the Senate with bipartisan support. It’s time for the House to act.”

“I want to provide our local leaders with the flexibility to use unspent COVID-19 relief funds for projects their community need most,” said Congressman Barr (R-KY-06). “Infrastructure is a real need.  We must upgrade our roads, bridges, airports, wastewater and other traditional infrastructure throughout the Commonwealth.  This commonsense proposal provides the opportunity to do just that without a massive tax increase, more blowout spending or new government mandates.”

“This bipartisan legislation is a commonsense solution that will give state and local governments the flexibility they need to use COVID relief funds to address all facets of the pandemic, including the need to rebuild our local economies,” said Representative Chris Pappas (D-NH-01). “Enabling New Hampshire communities to use unspent relief funds for critical infrastructure projects will create good-paying jobs, ensure we can make needed safety upgrades to our infrastructure, and boost economic activity across the region.”

“As we continue on the path of recovery from the pandemic and its economic effects, state and local governments need flexibility with COVID-19 relief funding,” said Kim Schrier, M.D. (D-WA-08). “Governments should be able to use unused relief funding on transportation and infrastructure needs that will create jobs and fix crumbling roads and bridges. I’m glad to support this common sense, bipartisan legislation.”

“We thank the bipartisan leaders who introduced this important piece of legislation,” said Matt Chase, Executive Director of the National Association of Counties (NACo). “The flexibility provided in this bill is crucial, as some local governments struggle to make necessary investments in their community in compliance with the existing guidance for the ARPA Recovery Funds. The State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Fiscal Recovery, Infrastructure, and Disaster Relief Flexibility Act would allow counties to invest over $27 billion in infrastructure and over $17 billion in government services, as they make decisions about how best to strengthen their communities. As we continue to respond to COVID-19 and its disastrous impact on our communities, counties applaud our partners in Congress who recognize the role that local governments will play in our recovery.”

“Local infrastructure is the backbone of the nation’s economy,” said Kevan Stone, CEO & Executive Director of the National Association of County Engineers. “This legislation will allow county governments to designate previously allocated funds to areas where they are needed most. The nation’s county road professionals own and maintain more road and bridge miles than any other government entity, and we applaud Representatives Johnson and Bordeaux for their efforts to ensure this crucial measure is enacted.”

“H.R. 5735 wisely expands flexibility for town and township officials to invest ARPA COVID relief funding in a manner that local officials know will make the greatest impact in their community to assist the country in recovering from the pandemic,” said Mike Koles, President, National Association of Towns and Townships; Executive Director, Wisconsin Towns Association. “Importantly, this bill empowers them to address supply chain issues by significantly expanding the ability to allocate funding to critical infrastructure projects.”

“NSSGA thanks Reps. Bordeaux and Johnson for their introduction of H.R. 5735, the State, Local, Tribal and Territorial Fiscal Recovery, Infrastructure and Disaster Relief Flexibility Act,” said Michele Stanley, Vice President of Government and Regulatory Affairs, National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association. “Utilizing unspent federal funds is the best investment our country can make to improve and expand our nation’s vital surface transportation network.”

“The National League of Cities supports the flexibility H.R.5735 provides cities to make the most effective use of their ARPA relief support by opening up new eligibilities for transportation and community development. Moving the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and H.R.5735 will leverage the resources communities have to recover and rebuild.” – The National League of Cities.

“The American Foundry Society thanks Reps. Carolyn Bordeaux (D-GA) and Dusty Johnson (R-SD) for leading this legislative effort, which would allow states, counties and localities to expand the allowable uses of the recovery funds from the American Rescue Plan for infrastructure, disaster relief, housing, community development, and other key investments.  Many of these projects were sidelined during the pandemic and will help put states on a stronger path to recovery.” – The American Foundry Society.

“The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) strongly supports H.R. 5735, the State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Fiscal Recovery, Infrastructure, and Disaster Relief Flexibility Act,” said APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas. “This bill would unlock $123 billion of funding for public transportation and other infrastructure, at the discretion of state and local authorities. These vital investments will make our economy stronger, significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve public health, and help transform our nation’s transportation network for a sustainable future.”

This legislation is supported by the National Association of Counties, National League of Cities, American Road & Transportation Builders Association, American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials, American Public Transportation Association, National League of Cities, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Counties, Transport Workers Union of America, American Chemistry Council, Associated General Contractors of America, American Society of Civil Engineers, Building America’s Future, American Highway Users Alliance, American Traffic Safety Services Association, National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association, American Institute of Steel Construction, National Association of Home Builders, Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations, National Association of Regional Councils, National Association of Development Organizations (NADO), Associated Equipment Distributors, National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors National Association (SMACNA), National Association of County Engineers, Institute of Makers of Explosives, American Subcontractors Association, Design-Build Institute of America, American Foundry Society, Coalition for America’s Gateways & Trade Corridors, Community Transportation Association of America, Portland Cement Association, American Concrete Pipe Association, American Public Works Association, National Association of Surety Bond Producers, FCA International, National Governor's Association, and the National Association of Towns and Townships.