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Congressman John Sarbanes

Representing the 3rd District of Maryland

Sarbanes, Energy and Commerce Committee Democrats Unveil Proposal to Invest in National Infrastructure

Sarbanes Authors Electrical Grid Modernization Plan


May 17, 2017
Contact: Jason Gleason
(202) 225-4016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman John Sarbanes (D-MD) joined Democrats on the Energy and Commerce Committee to introduce the Leading Infrastructure For Tomorrow’s America Act, or LIFT America Act. The legislation invests in critical infrastructure under the Committee’s jurisdiction, including broadband, drinking water, health care, the electric grid, brownfields and renewable energy. These investments would promote job growth, energy independence, public health and practical climate change solutions.

Sarbanes authored a portion of the LIFT America Act to support research, development and deployment of “smart grid” technologies in our nation’s electrical grid. He also introduced separate legislation entitled the 21st Century Power Grid Act.

“The U.S. electric grid is still operating in the 20th Century. For the sake of business owners and consumers, environmental protection and frankly our national security, we cannot afford the status quo,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “If the Department of Energy doesn’t invest in smart grid research and development, it would be akin to the National Institutes of Health giving up on medical cures research.”

The LIFT America Act includes investments in several key areas including:

  • $40 billion for the deployment of secure and resilient broadband to expand access for communities nationwide while promoting security by design;
  • $22.56 billion for drinking water infrastructure to protect public health and create jobs, including increased investment in drinking water State Revolving Funds and additional funding to replace lead service lines, address lead in school drinking water, and prepare for the impacts of climate change;
  • Over $17 billion for energy infrastructure, including $4 billion for modern, secure, efficient, and resilient electric grid infrastructure, $9 billion for resilient and renewable energy supply including methane pipeline replacement, and more than $4 billion for energy efficiency efforts and smart communities;
  • More than $3 billion for healthcare infrastructure, to revive the successful Hill-Burton hospital infrastructure program, fund medical facilities in Native American tribal lands, support state labs fighting Zika and other infectious diseases, and expand community based health care facilities; and
  • $2.7 billion for Brownfields redevelopment to revitalize communities and create jobs by returning valuable land to productive use.

“At a time when our nation’s infrastructure is either crumbling or in desperate need of modernization, it’s time we make real and significant investments for the future,” said Democratic Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. “The LIFT America Act is a blueprint for critical investments in our nation’s infrastructure that will also create jobs, promote economic growth and protect public health, and the environment. I’m pleased to introduce this comprehensive bill with my Democratic colleagues on the Committee, and look forward to advancing these key investments in American infrastructure.” 

A section-by-section of the bill is available here.

The text of the bill is available here.