Texas mayors urge Congress to pass infrastructure, spending bills

Mayors want Congress to take action on Build Back Better bill, Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

The mayors of Texas’ largest cities called on Congress to pass critical funding legislation during a news conference on Monday morning.

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg joined the mayors of Houston, Austin and Lubbock to urge federal lawmakers to pass the Build Back Better bill along with the bipartisan infrastructure bill. The mayors said funding from the bill would have massive impacts on their communities and the state of Texas.

In San Antonio, that funding could help San Antonio address a number of challenges, Nirenberg said, including housing, childhood poverty and workforce development. Nirenberg said the community has also identified roughly $6 billion in infrastructure needs, like road and drainage improvements.

“Congress can continue empowering local governments to improve the lives of our residents by taking immediate action on this comprehensive framework,” Nirenberg said. “Investing in our recovery can be done without politics.”

Though critics may oppose the proposed legislation due to its price tag, Nirenberg said the costlier option is to do nothing.

“When we don’t invest in our infrastructure, when we don’t invest in our people and our communities, that exacerbates the challenges that we’ve seen on clear display during the pandemic,” Nirenberg said.

Meanwhile, Congressional Democrats are still working on paring down the spending bill in order to shore up support. It remains unclear which programs would be cut from the bill.

“The fact is, that if there are fewer dollars to spend there are choices to be made,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday at the Capitol.

The Texas mayors said they hope to see the bill make significant progress this week.

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About the Author:

Fares Sabawi has been a journalist in San Antonio for four years. He has covered several topics, but specializes in crime, courts, open records and data visualization.