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The impacts the Mid-South will see from passage of infrastructure bill

Published: Nov. 6, 2021 at 9:37 PM CDT|Updated: Nov. 6, 2021 at 11:37 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - By only a margin of 22 votes (221-213) in the U.S. House of Representatives, the much talked about $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill will now be going to the desk of President Joe Biden.

It’s taken months since its proposal in the early summer to reach this point, but the money will benefit the Mid-South.

“It’s taken quite a while,” said Action News 5′s Political Analyst Mike Nelson.

Nelson recalls the bill’s passage of the Senate by much wider margins (69-30) in August, during a time when Memphis and the Mid-South saw the vulnerability of its infrastructure.

“I mean, we had that bridge... the I-40 bridge down for so long earlier this year,” Nelson said. “In Memphis, we know our infrastructure is in trouble. Help is on the way.”

Tennessee state democrats issued a statement, saying this bill is “paving the way for the largest investment in our nation’s infrastructure in a generation. This is a major victory for Tennessee.”

The estimated breakdown in the Mid-South shows:

Tennessee: $7.96B (including $5.8B for highways, $302M for bridges, $630M for public transportation and $697M for water treatment improvements)

Arkansas: $4.96B (including $3.6B for highways, $278M for bridges, $246M for public transportation and $528M for water treatment)

Mississippi: $4.46B (including $3.3B for highways, $225M for bridges, $223M for public transportation and $429M for water treatment)

“We don’t know exactly where this money is going to go,” said Nelson. “By the way, it’s 1.2 trillion dollars over a ten-year period, but it’s going to cover bridges and highways and broadband access and water pipes to make water supply safe and there’s some climate stuff in there, etc. This is a big thing for the country and surely for the Mid-South as well.”

It’s expected the bill will receive a quick signature from the president.

Also, President Biden’s Build Back Better bill, a $1.75 trillion social spending bill, cleared its procedural vote in the House last night by an even smaller margin of the infrastructure bill (221-213), only eight votes separating the yays and nays.

President Biden says he expects a vote on that bill to happen in the next two weeks.

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