Grassley touts bipartisan infrastructure bill in Indianola visit

By: - August 31, 2021 4:29 pm

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley spoke about the bipartisan infrastructure plan during an Aug. 31, 2021 visit to Indianola. (Photo by Katie Akin / Iowa Capital Dispatch)

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley touted his support of the bipartisan infrastructure bill in a visit to Indianola on Tuesday, highlighting the bill’s funding for broadband, bridges and more.

“In the 99 counties that I go to every year, I would imagine infrastructure and broadband and things like that have come up in every one of my meetings,” he said.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley visited the Missouri Valley Line Constructors Apprenticeship and Training Center on Aug. 31, 2021. (Photo by Katie Akin / Iowa Capital Dispatch)

Grassley toured the Missouri Valley Training Center, a facility to teach apprentice linemen. The center opened in May of this year and features a set of specialized classrooms for linemen to practice electrical work and prepare for workplace emergencies.

Grassley said he is unsure whether the facility itself would receive money through the infrastructure bill, but he noted that the legislation includes “a massive amount of money” to improve transmission lines – an initiative that would likely employ alumni of the training center. The bipartisan deal includes $65 billion to improve America’s electric grid.

“From that standpoint, the workers that are trained here are going to have to be used to build those transmission lines,” he said.

Ernst and Grassley split on infrastructure bill

Iowa’s senators are split on their support for the infrastructure package. U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst voted against the bill, citing concerns about the national deficit.

Grassley said he made the decision to vote for the infrastructure package after hearing from chambers of commerce, interest groups and individuals. He was one of 19 Republicans to support the legislation during an Aug. 10 vote.

Now, the bill awaits consideration in the House. It’s in limbo there for a little longer, as Democrats are negotiating a $3.5 trillion budget bill before allowing the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package to pass through. House leadership has promised the infrastructure bill will come to a vote by Sept. 27.

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Katie Akin
Katie Akin

Katie Akin is a former Iowa Capital Dispatch reporter. Katie began her career as an intern at PolitiFact, debunking viral fake news and fact-checking state and national politicians. She moved to Iowa in 2019 for a politics internship at the Des Moines Register, where she assisted with Iowa Caucus coverage, multimedia projects and the Register’s Iowa Poll. She became the Register’s retail reporter in early 2020, chronicling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Central Iowa’s restaurants and retailers.