CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Ask any West Virginian what the state’s worst problems are, and many will say roads. With that in mind, there is great interest in the Mountain State over three bills in the nation’s capital that would upgrade infrastructure. President Biden’s plan is to spend $2 trillion. A bipartisan Senate bill offers slightly more than half of that. And House Democrats approved a modest $715 billion plan. Right now the best bet is on the senate plan offered by a group of 21 Republicans and Democrats.
“Traditional infrastructure. When you talk about infrastructure people think of ‘hey my bridges is falling down, my roads are in horrible shape. We have no internet service.’ That all had to be dealt with and we can do that in a bipartisan, and also pay for it. And we did that too, without any new taxes,” said Sen. Joe Manchin, (D) West Virginia.
Among the top priorities in West Virginia are finishing Corridor-H and completing the King Coal Highway and Coal Fields Expressway. The Democratic-led House bill was approved on Thursday, but Republican critics say the 80 billion dollars set aside for broadband is not nearly enough.
“Of course we need help with our broadband throughout rural America. Because these issues were not properly taken care of in this bill, I voted against it,” said Rep. Carol Miller, (R) West Virginia – District 3.
The House was in session this week, but the U.S. Senate is not back until July 12th.
Right now it’s unclear which of the bills will get the green light. But roads are important to voters, and next year is an election year, so something will likely get done.