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CNY's Republican Congressman Katko Rallies For Infrastructure Bill After Dems Push Back Vote

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Rep. John Katko presenting his five-minute speech

House Democrats delayed a planned vote on the $1 trillion infrastructure bill, but Republican Central New York Congressmember John Katko is standing behind the bill.

Katko said the legislation is a once-in-a-generation investment in the nation’s infrastructure.

"We’ve heard from the mom or dad that hit a pothole and had to pay out-of-pocket to fix the family car," Katko said from the House floor Thursday. "We've seen our children struggle and fall behind in school without reliable internet access. Our communities are the ones where basic access to clean drinking water has been jeopardized by aging pipes.”

Katko told his colleagues not to allow blatant partisanship from Democrats to stand in the way of legislation that he said is “objectively good for the American people.”

Will we ignore the very real crisis that is facing infrastructure systems in communities like the one I represent in Central New York," Katko questioned. "Will we simply disregard the pleas from the most significant labor and business advocates in the country?”

He said no legislation is perfect, but said the infrastructure bill is the product of honest, good faith, and bipartisan effort to reach consensus.

I know that, because I have spent years working with my colleagues in the Problem Solvers Caucus to reach this moment. Since 2017, our group has worked on a framework that would move the ball forward on infrastructure and present real policy solutions for the challenges we face," Katko said.

The Republican representative also urged his colleagues to consider the bigger picture.

The world is watching. Our nation’s adversaries like the Chinese Communist Party would like nothing more than to see this body yield to partisan interests and refuse to invest in its own people," Katko said. "These adversaries would cheer our decision to ignore the crises of the past year and decide not to invest in cybersecurity for our infrastructure assets.”

Katko largely broke with his GOP colleagues in supporting the bill. He noted the legislation had the support of 19 Republican senators, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell when it was passed in August.