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Infrastructure bill could provide massive national upgrades

Upgrades could affect much across nation
Infrastructure bill could provide massive national upgrades
Posted at 7:07 AM, Sep 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-29 08:09:54-04

The House of Representatives is expected to vote on a massive infrastructure bill which has already passed the Senate.

If it passes the house on Thursday, Texas would be eligible for billions of dollars.

It would fix roads, bridges and even upgrade internet access.

Here's what's holding the vote up and how this could impact your wallet.

"Over half the recipes at one point used to be my grandmothers," said Tim Eversole, the Bean House in Covington, Ky.

No, this is not a story about pastries.

"The cheesecake recipe is actually mine," he said.

Although Eversole says it kinda is. This is a story about transportation, bridges and roads, and how they impact much more than just your commute.

You see these desserts? It requires someone to make them.

“It's terrible to get employees to come work for yah,” Eversole says.

Tim says his issue isn't pay, it's traffic.

Getting to his coffee house from across the river in Cincinnati requires his employees to commute over the Brent Spence Bridge, one of the most heavily trafficked and congested bridges in our country.

"We hired a pastry chef from the west side and she was going to come work for us and said she was going to do a test drive," Eversole says. "The day before she found out it was going to take her 45 minutes to get to work because of the bridges and just quit."

Eversole's infrastructure conundrum underscores what is at stake this week in Congress. The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill Thursday. The measure already passed the Senate in a bipartisan fashion last month. It would create $550 billion in new funding including $110 billion to fix roads and bridges like the Brent Spence.

It still unclear however if this bipartisan infrastructure bill will actually become law and that's especially frustrating for business owners nationwide. After all lawmakers have been talking about infrastructure reform not just for months, but for years.

"We are beyond frustrated and beyond frustrated this has taken so long," says Brent Cooper, the president of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

It's hard for people like Cooper outside of Washington to understand why this infrastructure vote hasn't take place yet, especially since 69 Democrats and Republicans voted for it already in the Senate.

Cooper says the longer some progressives in the House argue that it's not big enough and the longer some conservatives argue that the country can't pay for it, the longer millions of Americans and businesses will suffer, even those located thousands of miles away from this bridge.

"Whether you know it or not your impacted by the Brent Spence. we had the consular general from Canada come in and asked us what's going on with the Brent Spence because they are trying to get goods from Canada down to Florida and this is the way they go," Cooper said.

Of course if Congress passes the infrastructure bill this week, it doesn't mean traffic will be solved instantaneously in our country.

Building a new bridge here for instance would first mean obtaining funding from the Department of Transportation, a process that'll be competitive and once the project gets going it could take five years to complete.

Cooper says however coming together on infrastructure this week would send a message that the U.S. isn't happy with the status quo and change is possible.

"This is as obvious as it gets," Cooper said. "It isn't Democrat or Republican. It's American."