The House of Representatives voted 228 to 206 Friday night to approve the bipartisan infrastructure package, which the Senate passed in August by a vote of 69 to 30, clearing the way for legislation to become law.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act includes funding important to corn growers, including $17.3 billion for the nation’s ports and inland waterways and $2 billion specifically for rural broadband access. New spending in the bill is paid for through unused Covid relief funds, bonds and extensions of various government fees, and the bill does not include tax increases for individuals or farms.
“We are pleased to see the House act on this legislation which was developed in a bipartisan manner and allocates funding for initiatives that are extremely important to corn growers and rural America,” said NCGA President Chris Edgington. “This is a once in a generation infrastructure investment that will help farmers for years to come.”
As 60% of corn exports move on the inland waterways system, the maintenance of that system is vital for the global competitiveness of U.S. farmers. The funds dedicated to providing broadband access specifically for rural areas will be meaningful for corn growers who rely on this access for marketing crops, using precision technologies and running their business.
The bipartisan infrastructure plan, which has already passed the Senate, will head to the president to be signed into law.