Above: Gottheimer at International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 164 in Paramus.
PARAMUS, NJ — Today, Wednesday, August 4, 2021, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) announced major progress on the bipartisan infrastructure deal, significant investments to improve and repair New Jersey’s infrastructure, and the need for the House to take up the bill for a standalone vote once it passes the Senate.
According to a new state-by-state Senate breakdown, the bipartisan infrastructure deal will invest more than $4.1 billion specifically in transit in the State of New Jersey. The package will also make critical investment in major projects, from roads to bridges, to helping finally get the Gateway Project fully moving forward, eliminate lead service lines and pipes, and expand broadband connectivity across Jersey and our country.
Gottheimer joined International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW Local 164), including many building trades, and local construction business owner Joe Sanzari today to highlight how the bipartisan deal will create good-paying North Jersey jobs.
“This bipartisan infrastructure package will help repair those crumbling roads on Route 17 and the bridge, clean up the lead coated pipes across our counties, lay new broadband fiber in Sussex and Warren Counties, and finally get the Gateway Tunnel project off the ground,” Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) said. “We are within inches now of getting this deal out of the Senate and over to the House, where, with the President firmly behind it, I’m confident that we will take it up quickly for a strong, bipartisan standalone vote. This package is fully paid for and doesn’t raise taxes. That’s what Jersey wants. That’s what the country wants.”
“Not only is this bipartisan infrastructure deal going to help fix the crumbling bridges, roads, and tunnels around here, but it’s going to create good paying union jobs too. It is exactly the type of investment our community needs,” said Dan Gumble, Business Manager for IBEW 164. “And Congressman Gottheimer is going to make it happen because he’s always here for us. Not just on infrastructure but on all of the issues, all the time.”
Joe Sanzari of Sanzari Inc. said today, “The infrastructure is important to everyone in this country, first it’s the safety of our roads, next it’s the economy… so we need Washington to wake up and pass this bill as soon as possible… because it will put millions of people to work.”
Watch the press conference here.
Below: Gottheimer at International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 164 in Paramus.
Gottheimer’s full remarks as prepared for delivery are below.
We are here this afternoon because nothing speaks more to the importance of what’s going on in Washington, than standing here with the hardworking men and women of labor who will help turn the bipartisan infrastructure bill from a vision on paper to a reality on the roads, rails, bridges, pipes, tunnels, and broadband all across Jersey and our country.
As Co-Chair of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, I’ve been very proud to work closely with my Senate colleagues, Democrats and Republicans these last months, going back to early Spring, to help get this historic deal across the finish line — the largest investment in America in a century. Nothing will make me happier than when the real work will begin, led by our building trades, like the IBEW, with Sanzari trucks — repairing those crumbling roads on Route 17 and the bridge, cleaning up the lead coated pipes across the county, laying new broadband fiber in Sussex and Warren Counties, and finally getting the Gateway Tunnel project off the ground. Man, do we need the help.
In Jersey, we have the third worst roads in the nation; more than 500 of our state’s bridges are structurally deficient — a third are in desperate need of repair. New Jersey’s public transit has been ranked the worst on time, causing endless delays and frustration. Parents are often late to work in the morning and miss bedtime in the evening. Our critical tunnel connecting 20 percent of the nation’s GDP, between New York and New Jersey, is 113 years old and crumbling. China spent $3 trillion dollars on infrastructure outside of their country last year — and our streets are filled with cavernous pockmarks.
New Jersey residents who take public transit spend an extra 82.7% of their time commuting.
There is also still lead in our children’s drinking water in schools; and many rural New Jersey families, including far too many in my District, do not have basic broadband connectivity to connect to school, work, or a doctor’s appointment.
But, here’s the great news for every resident in Northern New Jersey — we are now within inches now of getting this deal out of the Senate and over to the House, where, with the President firmly behind it, I’m confident that we will take it up quickly for a strong, bipartisan standalone vote. And, this package is fully paid for and doesn’t raise taxes.
That’s what Jersey wants. It’s what the country wants. We can not allow the normal partisanship and gridlock to kill this bill.
This bipartisan agreement won’t only fix our potholes and help cut commute times, invest in climate resilience and electric vehicle infrastructure, and make our day-to-day lives better. But it will also create good paying Jersey jobs in the process — including for members of IBEW and all our building trades. These investments will add, on average, around 2 million jobs per year over the course of the decade. Every single dollar in infrastructure investment can have as much as a $2.50 ROI on our GDP.
This bipartisan bill is a major win — for every community in the Fifth District and for America as whole.
Specifically, this bill makes the largest federal investment in public transit ever, investing more than 4.1 billion dollars right here in New Jersey— which is a huge win for the Garden State. And it also includes critical investment for major projects, from roads to bridges, to helping finally get the Gateway Project fully moving forward.
The bipartisan legislation also makes the largest federal investment in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak and makes the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system. This will greatly expand transit opportunities for Jersey families – including up through the Western part of my District with new rail service — and help us connect our country better than ever before.
The bipartisan legislation also makes the largest investment in climate resiliency, clean drinking water and wastewater infrastructure in American history, to finally get the lead and forever chemicals out of our schools and children’s drinking water. This has been a huge priority of mine in Congress, since before I ran.
The bipartisan deal will ensure that every American has access to reliable high-speed internet, something that is a major win for communities here in North Jersey, especially in Warren and Sussex counties. This pandemic has laid bare the importance of internet access for everything from school, to health care, to work, to even connecting with our families.
Finally, this bipartisan bill represents the largest investment in clean energy transmission and Electric Vehicle infrastructure, including the power grid, in history — helping ensure clean air and water for future generations and encouraging people to move over to electric vehicles.
There is absolutely not enough Electric Vehicle infrastructure and charging stations — we need more investment. This bill will also invest in our airports, electric buses, and Superfund clean-ups, which are all key here in Jersey.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal does all of this and more, which is why I am ready to get the deal fully across the finish line, as soon as possible, with a standalone vote in the House.
In all, with this bipartisan bill, we are putting our nation first, we’re solving problems and we’re committing to building a better future for our communities, for our kids, and our grandkids. All while showing that the American government can work together, for the American people and for North Jersey.
Thanks again to everyone here at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers — Local 164 — who I know are ready to help us and get to work.
This package will help create jobs, build our economy, address our climate, enable us to compete, and deliver on an idea that I believe deeply in: that indeed we can govern together, that bipartisanship and civility are alive and well, and that when we work together, there’s no problem we can’t solve.
I know that if we continue to stand together and stand up for our values, here in the greatest country in the world, our best days will always be ahead of us.
God bless you and may God continue to bless the United States of America.