New Stimulus Package Addresses Nation’s Infrastructure

New Stimulus Package Addresses Nation’s Infrastructure

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Last week following final approval from Congress, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, a stimulus bill worth $1.9 trillion, some of which is going to address the U.S.’s infrastructure.

The National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA) formally stated its support of the new legislation. 

“The damaging fallout from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected how we sustain economic progress,” says Doug Carlson, NUCA’s CEO. “This legislation recognizes the important role the federal government must play in getting this nation back on its feet. This new law will speed up coronavirus vaccine distribution to industry employees and their families. And the new resources this bill directs to the utility construction industry will keep clean water flowing and help build out better fiber-optic broadband systems in thousands of American communities.“ 

Industry contractors and suppliers will find several provisions of this legislation supportive of their efforts to keep their business operations going: 

  • $10 billion for broadband-related infrastructure projects, including subsidies for schools, libraries, and homeowners to obtain modern internet access. 
  • $350 billion in aid for state, local, and territorial governments, which will help these local entities continue to direct resources to community infrastructure projects or fund new ones. These new resources will greatly assist municipalities without having to choose between critical COVID-19 health services and must-have projects such as new water or wastewater lines. 
  • $160 billion for coronavirus vaccine and testing programs to help stop the spread of the virus and end the pandemic. The plan includes resources to create a national vaccine distribution program and offer free shots to all U.S. residents, as well as helping local jurisdictions implement testing programs and expand laboratory capacities. Expanding these programs will allow essential industries like utility construction to maintain the good health of their employees on and off the job site. 
  • Other provisions of interest to construction businesses include $8 billion for airports to make changes to facilities to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Another $15 billion is allocated for targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loans and $7.25 billion for forgivable loans under the Paycheck Protection Program. The legislation would also send a third round of stimulus payments directly to eligible individuals, up to $1,400. 

Congress now turns its attention to a larger infrastructure package that must include increased resources for repairing and rebuilding existing water and wastewater systems, as well as fortifying the national infrastructure against severe weather events.

A comprehensive list of the industry’s 2021 legislative infrastructure priorities can be examined at www.nuca.com

“This legislation is about giving the backbone of this nation — the essential workers, the working people who built this country, the people who keep this country going — a fighting chance,” Biden said in a statement.

About The National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA)

Founded in 1964, the National Utility Contractors Association represents nearly 1,700 U.S. utility and excavation contractors, manufacturers, and suppliers who provide the materials and workforce to build and maintain the nation’s intricate network of water, sewer, gas, telecommunications, and electric infrastructure. Visit www.nuca.com or follow on Twitter at @NUCA_National. The association’s Twitter hashtags are #WeDigAmerica and #NUCAdigs. 



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