Local lawmakers react to the bipartisan infrastructure bill

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – Arkansas legislators have opposing views regarding the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which passed Congress on Friday.   

State Senator Greg Leding says he couldn’t be happier the Infrastructure bill passed in congress, and he believes the improvements the state will be able to make because of it have been long overdue. 

“It’s incredible for the country, but it also means Arkansans can expect to get a lot of things for safe drinking water, broadband, roads and bridges here in our state,” says Leding. 

On Friday, 13 republicans voted against party lines to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill in Congress. All four of Arkansas’s representatives voted against President Bidens the bill.  

But Leding says once the president signs this, rural Arkansas will benefit greatly.

“At least $100 million to ensure universal, reliable broadband, so you’re not gonna have to go sit in a McDonald’s parking lot, so your kids can do their homework,” says Leding. 

But not every Arkansas lawmaker supports this bipartisan infrastructure bill. Congressman Steve Womack says we spent too much. 

“It is a huge amount of money, most of which is going to be borrowed and put on the credit card,” says Womack. 

He believes out of the $1.2 trillion, more than $550 billion should have been allocated to roads, bridges, and highways. 

“But I think this particular bill was loaded down with a lot of things that I believe we could do without right now. A lot of green energy programs, huge subsidies for Amtrak, and other transportation ideas,” says Womack. 

Senator Leding, on the other hand, believes this bill is aimed primarily towards the infrastructure congressman Womack is looking for. 

“This bill was all about hard infrastructure. We’re getting about $528 million to ensure clean, safe drinking water for people, we’re going to get about $278 million to make sure our bridges are safe, and we’re going to get $3.6 billion for better roads,” says Leding. 

It’s unclear when President Biden will sign the bipartisan infrastructure bill; he said Friday he plans on doing it soon. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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