Senator Grassley. (file photo)

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he’ll be voting in favor of the trillion-dollar infrastructure bill when it comes up for a vote this morning.

Grassley, a Republican, says the bill is truly a bipartisan measure which he says will make a “significant investment” in Iowa’s future.

“I often hear from Iowans in my 85 county meetings I’ve been in so far this year about the need to fix Iowa’s aging infrastructure,” Grassley says. “We finally have a bipartisan package that delivers critical improvement for Iowa’s roads and bridges, locks and dams, and airports.”

The legislation includes $ 65 billion for improvements to broadband and Grassley says many Iowans in rural corners of the state are in dire need of better access to high-speed internet service.

“I think the emphasis upon broadband is because telehealth has come into vogue because of the pandemic,” Grassley says, “and distant learning and a lot of families haven’t been able to access this.” Before he decided to vote “yes” on the 2,700-page bill, Grassley said he had concerns that it might include new social programs and not enough “traditional, physical infrastructure,” things like roads and bridges. He says he no longer has those worries about “liberal priorities” being contained in the massive measure.

“There’s no mileage tax, no Green New Deal, no amnesty for undocumented immigrants in this bill,” Grassley says, “and the only reason I emphasize that is because there’s a lot of talk about that stuff being in this bill.”

After the infrastructure bill is passed, Democrats will move on to the $3.5 trillion budget bill, which he says is sure to contain some of those social programs. Grassley says he and the rest of the Republicans will likely vote against the budget, which he says will “further feed the fires of inflation.”

State Senator Jim Carlin of Sioux City — a Republican who plans to run against Grassley in next June’s Primary — says Grassley’s vote is reckless and will pave the way for a federal government spending spree that will fuel inflation. Grassley has not yet announced whether he’ll seek reelection in 2022.