Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Gov. J.B. Pritzker are among those invited to President Joe Biden’s Monday White House large signing ceremony for the $1 trillion infrastructure bill.
The bill will pump at least $17 billion to Illinois for a sweeping variety of projects. Every region of the state will be impacted by the bill, which has funds for highways, public transit, airport terminal renovations, electric vehicle charging stations, Amtrak improvements, broadband, lead water pipe replacement and more.
According to Lightfoot, money from the bill will fund “huge improvements to our CTA without any change in cost to consumers while delivering the same service they expect.”
The CTA system will “become 100% accessible with the addition and improvement of elevators and other ADA enhancements,” Lightfoot said, and “the Red Line will finally be extended to 130th Street.” Also, she said “the bus system will become fully electric,” and lead pipe replacement will be faster.
Pritzker was at the White House last July 14 to help bolster the case for the infrastructure legislation.
Some of the federal funds the state of Illinois government will receive will be used to piggyback on Pritzker’s existing Rebuild Illinois, the largest infrastructure program in the history of Illinois.
“The Land of Lincoln is prepped and ready for federal dollars to jumpstart our projects ahead of schedule,” Pritzker said in a statement.
Lawmakers were told the White House invited at least 200 to the bill ceremony, enough to include almost all yes votes. Illinois Democratic Reps. Marie Newman, Bobby Rush and Cheri Bustos are among those who will attend the White House signing.
It remains to be seen if Republicans who voted yes will show up to help Biden take a victory lap.
The bill passed the Senate with 19 Republican yes votes. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., was one of 13 Republicans voting for the infrastructure bill — earning him the wrath of former President Donald Trump and some of his House GOP colleagues whose districts will benefit from the bill.
Freshman Rep. Mary Miller, R-Ill., who is strongly allied with Trump, and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., said in a tweet after the vote, “NO Republicans should be voting for Pelosi’s fake “Infrastructure” bill.”
The infrastructure bill is not “fake.”
It should not be confused with Biden’s “Build Back Better” $1.75 trillion legislative proposal currently stalled in Congress.
No Republicans will vote for the BBB measure because it contains major Biden agenda items — climate change, expansion of health care, child care and immigration with provisions Republicans find objectionable to too expensive. There is also disagreement among moderate and progressive Democrats over the BBB legislation.
Since the Senate vote in August, Trump and his allies have stepped up attacks on Republicans who voted yes on the infrastructure bill.
Kinzinger will not be at the signing, his spokeswoman said Sunday.
In a briefing with reporters last week, Polly Trottenberg, the deputy secretary at the U.S. Department of Transportation, said, “This legislation represents the most ambitious investment in jobs and infrastructure in most of our lifetimes and with bipartisan support something we’re all very proud of. This bill is an investment in communities across the country, large and small, urban and rural.
“It’s also an important policy bill, with provisions to achieve key policy goals, including safer vehicle technology, making our infrastructure more resilient,” she said.
The infrastructure bill, a major Biden agenda item, “marks the largest investments in roads, bridges and highways since the creation of the Interstate Highway System,” Trottenberg said.
The Federal Highway Act, which funded the creation of the interstate system, was signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956, at the time, the largest public works program in the nation’s history.