West Virginia is home to rolling hills, roaring rivers, and vast forests that make our state Almost Heaven.
Those same treasures make for rough terrain and communities that lack access to broadband and upgraded infrastructure. Across the Mountain State, 1,545 bridges and more than 3,200 miles of highway are in poor condition. Thirty-two percent of trains and transit vehicles are beyond their useful lives. More than 258,000 West Virginians have no broadband access.
West Virginia’s infrastructure woes are not unique. This past week, the U.S. Senate acted to address these needs by passing the most significant investment in our nation’s infrastructure needs in a generation. And impressively, we did so through largely regular Senate order — something not seen in the Senate in quite some time. Major portions of this bipartisan bill were reported out of Senate committees after robust markups where every Member was able to offer amendments — including the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which I chair. On the Senate floor, the bill passed with an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 69-30 and remarkably earned the support of both Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
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