House passes infrastructure bill: Two NY Democrats voted no; Four NY Republicans voted yes

ALBANY — New York leaders praised the U.S. House's passage of a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package late Friday, saying the sweeping deal would be an unprecedented infusion of federal money to upgrade road and bridges, airports, public transit and water systems.

Over the next five years, Congress members said, New York stands to receive $12.6 billion in federal highway money; $9.8 billion for public transit, $2.6 billion to improve water infrastructure and $1.9 billion for bridge replacement and repairs.

New York airports would also receive $685 million for renovations and $100 million would go to expand broadband coverage cross the state through incentives to help low-income families.

"Congress has made good on its promise to deliver infrastructure funding through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, meaning New York will be able to make critical investments in our roads, bridges, and transit," Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a statement Saturday.

Stewart International Airport in Orange County will be among airports in New York to benefit from the federal infrastructure bill.
Stewart International Airport in Orange County will be among airports in New York to benefit from the federal infrastructure bill.

While the bill was passed with bipartisan support, House members in New York were divided: Two Democrats in New York were among six nationally to vote against it, while four New York Republicans were among 13 GOP representatives to support the measure.

Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman, who represents parts of Westchester and the Bronx, voted against it, as did fellow liberal Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

They have long criticized the spending plan for not investing more in climate change and impoverished communities.

"A true infrastructure investment must include transforming our economy to handle the climate crisis, supporting care workers, reforming (Supplemental Security Income), making child care universal, rebuilding our crumbling public schools, and much more," Bowman said in August when the Senate passed the bill.

But the four Republicans in New York who voted for it said the money to aid infrastructure would be a major boost for the state and couldn't be rejected.

Their were two New York City Republicans who voted for it, Reps. Andrew Gabarino and Nicole Malliotakis, and two upstate Republicans, John Katko and Tom Reed, who is not seeking re-election next year.

"Make no mistake: This bill is a win for Central New York. I urge the President to move swiftly in signing it into law," Katko said in a statement.

President Joe Biden, whose party struggled at the polls in local elections last Tuesday, is expected to sign the bill into law, calling it “a monumental step forward as a nation.”

After that, he will look to pass the more contentious Build Back Better Act that Congress has been at loggerheads over that would provide an overhaul of social service programs in the nation.

Katko, despite his support of the infrastructure bill, called the Build Back Better plan a "far-left wish list" that he would not support.

Still, Democrats praised the infrastructure plan and urged Congress to move onto the Build Back Better Act.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shined a stark light on the inequities that plague our nation, including woefully under-resourced infrastructure that demands our immediate attention,” Rep. Joseph Morelle, D-Irondequoit, Monroe County, said in a statement.

Rep. Antonio Delgado, D-Rhinebeck, Dutchess County, said the infrastructure bill also includes stronger measures to address the safety of limousines after a crash in Schoharie outside Albany three years ago killed 20 people.

"Our legislation will create jobs, repair our roads and bridges, deliver broadband and increase resiliency in the face of climate change,” Delgado said in a statement.

More: Infrastructure bill set for vote in Senate: What's in it for New York?

More: Election Day in New York: Progressive Democrats suffer defeats heading into 2022 races

Joseph Spector is the Government and Politics Editor for the USA TODAY Network's Atlantic Group, overseeing coverage in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware. He can be reached at or followed on Twitter: @GannettAlbany

Support local journalism

We cover the stories from the New York State Capitol and across New York that matter most to you and your family. Please consider supporting our efforts with a subscription to the New York publication nearest you.

This article originally appeared on New York State Team: Infrastructure bill: Two NY Dems voted no; Four NY Republicans voted yes