Smith Explains

I certainly appreciate Congressman Chris Smith for many of the things he has done as a Congressman for New Jersey and for his own district, but I was disappointed to see him approve that big infrastructure bill because from what I read, there seems to be an awful lot included for more than fixing bridges and roads.

However, he put out a statement explaining why he did it, and makes some interesting points in it. But at least he realizes he still has to answer to the people and I certainly respect him laying out his reasons. Here are his reasons:

The bipartisan infrastructure bill supported by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) to repair and rebuild dangerous roads, bridges, rail lines, tunnels, lead-contaminated water pipes and more became law recently.

“Above all, this legislation is necessary to better ensure the safety of the people in my district, New Jersey, and the nation,” Smith said. Officially known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the bill will fund hard infrastructure projects and boost commerce, jobs and economic growth.

Smith said that he voted “yes” on this infrastructure funding legislation but will vote ‘no’ when President Biden’s Build Back Better bill, commonly referred to as the “soft infrastructure bill” comes up for a vote—on or around tomorrow.

“Originally, the two major bills were scheduled to be voted on in the House on the same day but then only the infrastructure bill actually came to the House floor. This created a great deal of confusion and misunderstanding. Many people appear to have been genuinely misled into believing that provisions of the Build Back Better legislation—pushed by President Biden and progressive Democrats—were included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure legislation. That was simply not the case,” said Smith.

“Infrastructure funding has long been recognized as critical to the economy, creating and sustaining jobs and safety.

According to Smith, the recently passed bipartisan $1.2 trillion bill isn’t as big or as bold as what the previous administration proposed, but will help rebuild New Jersey’s crumbling infrastructure by providing at least $6.9 billion for New Jersey highways and roads, $4.2 billion to improve New Jersey public transportation and $1.1 billion for bridge replacement and maintenance.

Smith pointed out that of the 1,156 bridges in the counties of his congressional district—117, or 10.1 percent, are classified as structurally deficient and repairs are needed on 369 bridges in those counties alone. HE also said that 37% of roads in the state are in poor condition.

The law also authorizes $55 billion in emergency funding for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure five years through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF).

“Safe drinking water is an essential necessity of everyday life—not a luxury,” said Smith.

“Every weekday, about 200,000 New Jersey residents travel to New York by train. The Gateway Program funded by the new law will replace the increasingly dangerous infrastructure including tunnels under the Hudson River,” Smith said.


Related Posts

See All