In the aftermath of last week’s passage of the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the 29 members of Florida’s Congressional Delegation took remarkably different stances on the matter, largely depending on their respective political parties.
While every Republican member of the state delegation voted against the bill, Florida’s Democrats almost universally hailed the spending while largely ignoring its impact on the federal budget.
“The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will meet the urgent needs of Florida’s families by creating good-paying jobs, growing our economy and keeping our nation competitive,” said Rep. Alan Lawson, who represents District 5, which includes a large swath of North Florida. “For decades, infrastructure in Florida has suffered due to a lack of investment; however, this long overdue legislation will make life better for millions of our residents.
Most Republicans simply ignored the passage of the bill, but several, including Rep. Bill Posey, detailed their reasons for opposition.
“Just after midnight I voted against Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi’s latest plan to greenlight trillions of dollars in new spending to transform America,” Posey wrote in a statement posted to his website. “The legislation doubles down on key policy failures that have produced rising food and gas prices, disruptions in the nation’s supply chain, a crisis at our southern border and out-of-control vaccine mandates. People are tired of being dictated to by Washington and are frustrated by the disconnect between them and this radical agenda to remake the country and restructure their lives.”
The legislation has not yet been signed into law. President Joe Biden said through a spokeswoman that despite the claimed urgency to get the bill passed, he likely would not sign it until sometime next week so that key Democrats can join him in a signing ceremony.
The bill includes nearly $16 billion in federal funding for Florida’s highways, bridges, and transit over the next five years. The vast majority – $13.1 billion – will be targeted for the Sunshine State’s highways, while about $245 million will be used for bridge replacement and repairs. Much of the remaining funding is targeted toward public transit and airport infrastructure, and $1.6 billion to shore up drinking water infrastructure, supply and delivery.
There is also millions of dollars that will be targeted toward broadband internet access and cybersecurity.