Congressman Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), the U.S. House Assistant Speaker, issued the following statement on House Democrats' plan to bolster infrastructure investments and create new, good-paying jobs in a fourth legislative package to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
The infrastructure plan is modeled on House Democrats' previously announced infrastructure priorities for the country. That package was estimated to create 10 million jobs by investing $760 billion over five years in America's infrastructure, including investments to improve broadband access and bridge the digital divide in rural and Tribal communities. In New Mexico, less than half of rural New Mexicans have access to high-speed, fixed broadband. This initiative builds on Congressman Luján's longstanding efforts to address the digital divide and empower innovation in New Mexico.
Congressman Luján's Broadband Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (BIFIA) is included in the plan, which would spur broadband deployment of high-speed internet across the country by making low-interest financing available to communities.
"The COVID-19 public health crisis is impacting communities across New Mexico each day. It's crucial that the next coronavirus response package includes significant investments to alleviate the public health and economic impacts of this virus, boost our economy, and create new jobs for New Mexicans, said Luján. "As Congress develops this next legislative package, I will fight to ensure investments in New Mexico's public health, economy, and infrastructure are included. This crisis requires a bold response to uplift New Mexico families and businesses."
In the previous coronavirus response package, Congressman Luján negotiated for strong investments for health care workers, New Mexico's national laboratories, Tribal nations, and workers and businesses. Luján is continuing to engage in efforts to help local communities get through the COVID-19 pandemic.