U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran discusses bipartisan plan for infrastructure growth

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Jul. 16—U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, is working on a bipartisan plan that would improve infrastructure across the country, including transportation in Kansas, but he wants to keep it affordable, he said Thursday.

Moran is part of a bipartisan group, called the G-22, of 11 Republican and 11 Democratic senators working on the plan. He told Manhattan residents Thursday he wants to keep the plan smaller and affordable.

Moran said Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vermont, has proposed a Democrat-only infrastructure bill that would be more than $3.5 trillion.

"What I would say is the G-22 plan is smaller," he said. "... It deals specifically with things that are considered traditionally and historically as infrastructure and in not in a list of just everything that anybody in the United States Senate might want to invest money in."

Moran said he thinks it's not the time to try to pass a trillion-dollar bill because the government has spent a lot of money on coronavirus relief. The bipartisan plan proposes an increase of $579 billion going toward fiscal infrastructure, Moran said.

"This is a more focused plan, it is a smaller price tag plan, and it is designed to deal with the things that are the most important and what we would all historically consider as infrastructure," he said.

He said Manhattan Regional Airport would qualify for funds from this plan, if it passes the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Moran spoke from Washington, D.C., during Thursday's Good Morning Manhattan virtual meeting. He said he believes infrastructure investment is important.

"I also am engaged in that group because I want Kansas priorities to be considered," he said.

Moran said he wants to make sure it's not just infrastructure for major cities.

"It is also the way that we Kansans get to the doctor, to the grocery store, with buses and that city kind of municipal structure in getting people around in places that don't have mass transit," he said.

The G-22 group met Tuesday. Moran said he thinks it would be a gift for the country to pass a bipartisan bill for something that is so important.

"I think the process is working reasonably well," he said. "It seems that we're still all committed to getting a result."

He said the Senate will likely vote on the bill before the second week of August.

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