Pallone Floor Remarks on the Moving Forward Act
Washington, D.C. – Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr.‘s (D-NJ) remarks as prepared for delivery on the House Floor today in support of H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act:
Madam Speaker, I rise in strong support of H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act. There is no better way to jumpstart our economy and create millions of good paying jobs than to modernize our badly aging infrastructure.
I’d like to focus on some of the key provisions included in this bill from the Energy and Commerce Committee.
COVID-19 has wiped out more than 600,000 clean energy jobs, stifling both our economy and our fight against climate change. This bill will help us rebuild our economy with a $70 billion investment in clean energy. This sweeping investment will upgrade the electric grid to accommodate more renewable energy, make the grid more resilient, and facilitate the deployment of clean energy and sustainable infrastructure projects across the country.
We also invest in energy efficiency, which will support hundreds of thousands of jobs and help homeowners save money on their energy bills. And we make a major investment in clean transportation and the development of an electric vehicle (EV) charging network — stimulating job growth in the EV industry and addressing the need to lower greenhouse gas pollution coming from our cars and trucks.
All of these investments are critical not only to stimulating our economy and modernizing our infrastructure, but also helping us combat climate change.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also put a spotlight on just how critical it is to have access to clean and safe water. That’s why this bill invests over $25 billion in drinking water programs. We also provide $2.7 billion for the Brownfields program so local communities can transform former factories, abandoned lots and other vacant facilities into community centers, parks and new businesses.
The pandemic has also starkly demonstrated the need to ensure families all across the nation have access to high-speed internet. The Moving Forward Act provides over $100 billion to fund broadband-related programs, which will get us to 100 percent internet coverage. This also includes additional funding for the Lifeline program which helps low-income Americans pay for their internet bills.
Kids all around the nation need access to broadband to participate in their classes online for the fall and potentially much longer. This legislation provides $5 billion for mobile hotspots and connected devices to make sure students who don’t have access to these resources at home can effectively engage with remote learning. We also authorize $12 billion to upgrade our frail 9-1-1 infrastructure for the next generation.
Finally, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed an alarming number of pre-existing weaknesses in our nation’s health care infrastructure.
In order to effectively respond to this pandemic, prepare for future public health crises and improve the overall quality of care across the country, we invest $30 billion to upgrade our nation’s health infrastructure and build new infrastructure where needed.
This funding will be used to upgrade hospitals and community health centers, improve clinical laboratory infrastructure, support the Indian Health Service and increase the overall capacity for community-based care in America.
All of these investments are needed to modernize our infrastructure for the future, but they will also stimulate our economy during this severe economic downturn and will create millions of jobs at a time when tens of millions of Americans have lost their jobs.
The Moving Forward Act does just that — Move our Nation forward during these unprecedented times. It deserves strong bipartisan support.
Thank you, I yield back.