Charlie Crist applauds passage of $1 trillion infrastructure bill, cites Florida impact

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The bill will provide Florida funding to improve highways and roads, as well as to update drinking water infrastructure and expand broadband coverage.

U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist joined 228 members of Congress Friday evening in voting to pass the $1 trillion infrastructure package prioritized by President Joe Biden.

The passage of the historic legislation, which seeks to revamp the country’s infrastructure and provide jobs, came as a win to Democrats after a months-long standoff between progressives and moderates.  The House passed the measure 228-206, approved by thirteen Republicans, mostly moderates, and disapproved by six of the of Democrats’ farthest left members.

Crist has been a vocal proponent of the legislation, holding several press conferences promoting the bill, often highlighting the impact it could have on Floridians. On Thursday, the Congressman held a virtual forum, to discuss the plan and applaud its health care portion.

Crist, who is challenging DeSantis in the 2022 gubernatorial race, has continued to advocate for the inclusion of Medicaid expansion laid out in the plan, which would expand coverage to nearly 1 million Floridians. He has also promoted the promise to lower prescription drug costs woven into the plan.

“Robust investment in America’s crumbling infrastructure — safeguarding our drinking water, repairing our roads and bridges, upgrading our ports – is long overdue,” Crist said in a statement. “With this blockbuster bill, we’re creating millions of good-paying jobs, investing in Florida’s future, and Building Back Better.”

The federal legislation would provide Florida with nearly $16 billion in state formula funds for highways, bridges and transit over the next five years. That funding is divided among $13.1 billion for highways, $245 million for bridge replacement and repairs and $2.6 billion for public transit.

The state would also receive $1.2 billion over the next five years for airport infrastructure, as well as $100 million for broadband coverage, including providing access to the more than 700,000 Floridians who currently lack it.

The legislation will also provide $1.6 billion over the next five years to improve drinking water infrastructure.

“This historic, bipartisan bill will also deliver new infrastructure for the 21st century: high-speed rail, solar-powered mass transit, and other innovations that will reduce traffic and protect the environment. It’s about delivering tangible results that will benefit day-to-day life for all Americans,” Crist said in a statement.

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected].


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