FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 22, 2021
KANSAS REPUBLICANS QUESTIONED FOR THEIR INACTION ON INFRASTRUCTURE
Topeka Capital-Journal: “We certainly think those improvements are worth compromising for. So Reps. LaTurner, Mann and Estes, and Sens. Moran and Marshall, why don’t you?”
Topeka, KS — Last week, President Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal into law. The Topeka Capital-Journal Editorial Advisory Board detailed the many benefits and much-needed improvements the investment will provide Kansas, and raised the important question: Why did all Kansas Republicans vote against it?
Key points from the Topeka Capital-Journal:
- People are hurting, and our infrastructure desperately needs upgrading — items in the bill are essential.
- Democratic Representative Sharice Davids understands the importance of compromise to get things done for Kansans, calling the bill “not absolutely perfect, but absolutely necessary.”
- The investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will improve our daily lives and move Kansas forward.
- Despite the fact that the investments are necessary, all Kansas Republican Congressmen failed to vote for it.
Infrastructure has long been an issue with bipartisan support. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal received 19 Republican votes in the Senate, including neighboring states’ Republican senators like Sen. Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Sen. Deb Fischer (Neb.). It received 13 Republican votes in the House of Representatives.
Kansas Republicans’ main argument against the bill, regarding spending, falls short given Congress’ plan to pay for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal. Additionally, Kansas’ “C grade” on its infrastructure report card stresses the importance of these investments. With all facts considered, inaction by Kansas Republicans on a widely popular bipartisan bill begs the question as to why they think our state isn’t worth investing in.
Read more from the Topeka Capital-Journal here or below.
Compromise means you give a little and they give a little — and good things happen for Kansans
The recently signed into law infrastructure package championed by President Joe Biden comes with a hefty price tag. To the tune of $1 trillion-plus.
The Sunflower State Republicans objected mostly on the grounds of the size of the package and the increased spending to the multibillion dollar expansion of the social safety net, which is considered to be the second part of the legislative package.
Sen. Jerry Moran argued the spending wasn’t actually paid for, citing the Congressional Budget Office noted it would add to the deficit.
We’ll concede these are valid concerns. It’s never wrong to carefully consider all the options before taking on debt. But here’s the thing: People are hurting, and our infrastructure desperately needs upgrades. No one would dispute that a lot of these line items are necessary.
Ultimately, we as a nation are never going to fully agree on how to spend money. So compromises were necessary to make it happen.
Something our Kansas delegation should keep in mind is compromise doesn’t mean you get everything you want. Compromise means you give a little and they give a little — and good things happen for Kansans.
Davids seems to get that concept, calling the package “not absolutely perfect, but it is absolutely necessary.”
Under this new law, Bahl reports Kansas will get the following:
- $2.6 billion in highway funding over the next five years.
- Another $40 million to boost the state’s network of charging stations for electric vehicles.
- At least $100 million to improve broadband access in both rural and urban parts of the state.
- $450 million for water infrastructure, including replacing lead pipes and pipe fittings.
- $272 million in funding to improve public transit offerings and a multi-billion investment in Amtrak to clear the agency’s maintenance backlog and expand services, including a potential extension of the Heartland Flyer route from Oklahoma City to Wichita.
These are all great things for our state. Things we really need. Many of these upgrades will help us in our daily lives, such as a quicker commute or a faster and more reliable internet connection. That still helps move Kansas forward.
We certainly think those improvements are worth compromising for. So Reps. LaTurner, Mann and Estes, and Sens. Moran and Marshall, why don’t you?