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US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Congressional Democrats Tout Infrastructure Bill During North Texas Visit

(CBSDFW.COM) - U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg toured new modular gates being built at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. When finished, they'll replace four gates at Terminal C.

Similar gates will be added in the future, as well.

No word yet if these projects will receive money from the infrastructure bill but the transportation secretary and North Texas Democrats in Congress say they're good examples.

Buttigieg said, "Investing in infrastructure is an investment in jobs, it's an investment in our future. We're committed to making sure we have a transparent and accountable and also a very purposeful way of getting these funds out."

U.S. Rep. Colin Allred, D-Dallas, said, "Here in North Texas, probably more than any area in the country, we need that investment. We're one of the most rapidly growing areas in the country."

The infrastructure bill will give Texas $537 million for bridges, $3.3 billion for public transportation, and $26.9 billion for highways.

U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth, said North Texas will continue to lead the nation in growth over the next 20 to 30 years. "I can't think of a better bill that will help situate us to continue to be the leaders in the U.S. when it comes to transportation in all different forms."

The bill also includes billions of dollars for improving the electric grid, broadband and charging stations for electric vehicles.

One concern to be addressed, Texas remains the only state in the nation that still sends more gas tax dollars to Washington, D.C., than it gets back.

U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Dallas, said, "When I went to Washington, we were getting 73 cents on the dollar back. We're now getting 96 cents. We got all the way to 99 point something and we will try to get there again."

Allred said, "We are still the only donor state. The numbers are close and that's good."

The Congressional Budget Office has said the infrastructure bill will add $256 billion to the national debt.

Sen. John Cornyn voted against the infrastructure bill and in a statement said, "It isn't paid for, will add too much to the debt, and was rushed through the Senate."

Sen. Ted Cruz also voted against the bill. In a statement he said, "We're about to plunge further into debt. America is already $28.6 trillion in debt, and it's set to skyrocket even higher."

Both senators also opposed the Senate's $3.5 trillion blueprint for education, climate and healthcare proposals.

Before the House votes on the infrastructure bill, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she wants House members to approve a $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill.

Republican members of Congress from North Texas oppose both bills and efforts to raise the debt ceiling.

U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Lewisville, said, "I am firmly opposed to each of these. Furthermore, in a series of town halls last week, sentiment from constituents was overwhelmingly opposed to these measures."

U.S. Rep. Lance Gooden, R-Canton, said, "I will not support more wasteful government action that grows the deficit and will be voting NO."

U.S. Rep. Jake Ellzey, R-Waxahachie, agreed with Burgess and Gooden and said he's a no vote on all three issues.

Allred says he supports it. "I think these go together. Both of the bills are incredibly important for us and there's a lot in the reconciliation bill that I support."

The House could vote on both bills later this month.

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