Bustos hopeful for infrastructure vote this week

US Representative Cheri Bustos of Illinois says an infrastructure package vote could be just around the corner.

On Friday, Bustos told Brownfield, “I am more encouraged this week than I was the week before. My hope is that we will be able to vote on this in about a week from now.”

Bustos and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack met with the Army Corps of Engineers Rock Island District Friday for a tour of Lock and Dam 15 on the upper Mississippi River to underscore the importance of the $2.5 billion earmarked for inland waterway infrastructure in the bill.

“To see how inefficient it is to lock through the Mississippi River under the current system that was built back in the depression era of the 1930’s. For each one of the locks they have to go through, it takes an additional hour to make that happen because we need to do so many upgrades.”

And Bustos says Vilsack was very engaged in the conversation.

“I think what we saw today is that the Secretary of Agriculture understands the importance of investing in our navigable inland waterways and how important that is to the ag economy.”

Bustos says she has secured an additional $22.5 million for construction along the nations locks and dams in a different house bill, while the partner bill in the senate includes about $45 million. In negotiations, she is hoping congress will agree on a number closer to the Senate figure.

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