House Bill Targeting $2 Billion in Rural Infrastructure Differs from White House Proposal

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Congressman Ralph Lee Abraham (R-LA) has introduced legislation that would provide rural communities with access to more than $2 billion in grant funding for infrastructure improvements. Specifically, the Revitalize Rural America Act (HR 5016) creates a $2.1 billion grant program administered by the Secretary of Transportation to fund rural infrastructure projects such as improving and expanding federal-aid highways, tunnels and bridges; expanding broadband Internet access; water and wastewater projects; navigation projects; and electrical grid projects in rural areas. According to a press release issued by Representative Abraham, state and local governments, as well as other public and private entities would be eligible to apply for the grants. However, awards would go directly to the winning entity, rather than funneled through state governments for distribution. This concept differs from the one proposed last week by President Donald Trump in his $200 proposal to improve America’s infrastructure, which earmarked $50 billion for rural projects, but put much of the grant funding in the hands of state governments.

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