Congressman Jerry Carl, R-Mobile, is joining in cosponsorship of a bipartisan bill to allow American Rescue Plan and CARES Act relief funds available for use in certain infrastructure investments and natural disaster relief nationwide.
The State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Fiscal Recovery, Infrastructure, and Disaster Relief Flexibility Act — initially sponsored by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas — passed the U.S. Senate the previous week unanimously.
Congressmen Dusty Johnson, R-South Dakota, and Carolyn Bourdeaux, D-Georgia, are carrying the bill through the House, where it has received bipartisan support.
“South Alabama has a desperate need for investments in true infrastructure such as roads, bridges, ports, waterways, and broadband,” Carl said in a statement Wednesday. “As a former county commissioner, investing in our nation’s infrastructure is a top priority for me, so I’m proud to cosponsor this bipartisan bill to give states like Alabama the flexibility they need to spend unused COVID-19 relief dollars on critical investments in our nation’s infrastructure.”
If passed and enacted, the act would allow eligible state and local entities to spend $10 million, or 30 percent, of their residual federal relief funds for infrastructure, additional relief for natural disasters, and other additional categories.
It would also create a pathway for entities with large amounts of residual funds to return relief funds for deficit reduction purposes.
In statements made Wednesday, Carl said Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-California, was “holding the American people hostage” for not yet bringing the bill before the House for consideration.
“Despite passing the U.S. Senate unanimously and being introduced in the House by a large, bipartisan group,” Carl said. “Nancy Pelosi is focused on raising our taxes, bankrupting America, and playing political games. It’s time to put the American people first and pass this bipartisan, commonsense bill.”