SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – With a new bipartisan infrastructure bill awaiting the signature of President Biden, many Utahn’s may be wondering how this billion-dollar bill will benefit the Beehive State. Sen. Mitt Romney (R) Utah talked about how this money will be put to use.
A conversation that started at a dinner table in December, with a group of 10 (5 Democrats, 5 Republicans) has recently transformed into a major infrastructure package that will help repair the nation’s crumbling roads and provide more access to more resources for Americans.
For Utah, which is set to receive several billion dollars in addition to the money the state already gets each year for infrastructure, people who live in rural areas can expect more access to broadband. With a bigger focus on physical infrastructure, roads and bridges will see more repairs, and more water projects can flourish.
Utah’s population grew at 18.4 percent, adding 507,731 residents in the last ten years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This growth is the fastest in the nation. Now with a rapidly growing population, infrastructure projects are needed to maintain this demand explosion of resources.
“Just maintaining our current roads is not enough to keep up with the demand of a growing state like ours,” said Romney.
Romney was the only member of Utah’s congressional delegation that ended up voting in favor of this bill.
President Biden and Democrats have been drafting a social program bill, that most Republicans oppose. Romney sees this as an opportunity to lessen the chances of that particular bill coming to fruition.
“Had we not done our bill, the president would’ve put both (bills) together himself and that would’ve put the sweetness of physical infrastructure together with what nobody wants (social programs). “We’ve probably made it less likely that this bill passes (the $1.7 trillion bill) than more likely.”
Romney also credits “performance politics” as justification for why groups struggle to get together and get things done more often.
When it comes to helping veterans, funding is the answer, Romney says.
“Need funding to care better for veterans, Utah has a very good Veterans Administration facility. We need the same quality expanded to other parts of the country,” said Romney.