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U.S. Sen. Peters visits Grand Rapids discussing federal infrastructure package with area leaders

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters portrait
U.S. Senate

U.S. Senator Gary Peters continued his “Building a Stronger Michigan Listening Tour” in Grand Rapids Wednesday. He met with local government leaders who prioritized their infrastructure needs. Senator Peters made it clear, the United States must have a 21st Century infrastructure citing the U.S. is currently ranked 13th in the world.

“We need to be at the top of that list. We have to have the best.”

The Michigan Democrat expressing that’s what it will take advancing and growing the U.S. economy.

Touring the Michigan Department of Transportation’s West Michigan Operations Center area leaders, including Grand Rapids’ Mayor Rosalyn Bliss, made clear improving roads and bridges, underground infrastructure like water and sewer lines, public transportation, high-speed broadband and cyber security are critical.

In Washington, the Biden Administration and Democrats are negotiating a $2 trillion federal infrastructure package with Republicans. One trillion dollars separate the two sides. Senator Peters is hopeful a bipartisan compromise can be reached before August 1st. When asked what’s being negotiated, the Senator wouldn’t say.

“You shouldn’t characterize it as just spending, it’s actually an investment. And you invest in the future and you get a return on that investment. So, I think part of the discussion right now is what is that top line? That’s the big part of the debate. And then we look at how we prioritize?”

He explains every dollar spent returns $7 in savings to tax payers.

If a bipartisan deal can’t be reached, Senator Peters says Democrats will use the reconciliation process advancing the package with a Senate majority vote.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.