Rep. Tom Reed

U.S. Rep. Tom Reed

Thirteen Republicans in the U.S. House helped provide the margin to get the Democrats’ $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill passed late Friday, including Rep. Tom Reed.

Reed was among four New York Republicans who voted in favor of the infrastructure measure — the others being Rep. John Katko, Rep. Nicole Malliotakis and Rep. Andrew Garbarino.

Reed, who will not seek re-election in 2022 because of a sexual harassment scandal that came to light in March, did not make a statement after the vote, which was late Friday.

Six progressive Democrats also voted against the bill, unhappy that many of their demands for social spending have been pared from President Joe Biden’s and the Democrats’ overall agenda. The bill would have failed Friday had not the 13 Republicans voted yes.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer of New York hailed passage of the “historic legislation” bill in the House, saying it will bring billions of dollars to the Empire State.

“The bipartisan infrastructure is a record deal and a once-in-a-generation investment in New York infrastructure,” Schumer said in a statement. “Whether it’s our mass transit system, critical bridges or highway repairs, fixing our subway tunnels, safety improvements at our airports, bridging the digital divide, or ensuring clean drinking water for all, this bill will rebuild and revive the Empire State’s infrastructure and create good-paying jobs for communities that need it most.”

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., tweeted, “Con-gress just passed the largest investment in our nation’s infrastructure in nearly a century! This historic bill will create millions of good jobs, help rebuild our roads and bridges, expand broadband, and so much more. Now let’s finish the job and pass the Build Back Better Act.”

Schumer said New York will receive $11.5 billion for reauthorization apportionments, $1.9 billion from a new vehicular bridge repair formula program, nearly $1 billion for airport improvements ($790,000 each for the Cattaraugus County-Olean and Wellsville Municipal airports); and $142 million for electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

The bill also includes billions for water and sewer infrastructure improvements and pollution mitigation.

Rep. Glenn Thompson, the Pennsylvania congressman from Centre County whose district includes McKean, Cameron and Elk counties, voted against the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act because Democrats have linked it to a spending bill that is “full of budget gimmicks and will cost American taxpayers trillions of dollars.”

Thompson said “there was an opportunity to come together and draft a bipartisan, bicameral bill to address America’s aging infrastructure,” but Democrats will continue to pursue greater social spending.

“To add insult to injury, the bill fails to adequately address one of the most critical infrastructure needs, broadband connectivity,” Thompson said. “This is completely unacceptable and further reflects how out of touch (House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.) is with the concerns of everyday American families.”

Rep. Fred Keller, the Snyder County, Pa., Republican whose congressional district includes Potter County, said he voted no on “Speaker Pelosi’s infrastructure bill” because it piles debt on future generations more than it does to fix roads, bridges and critical infrastructure.

“Less than half of this bill goes towards traditional infrastructure,” Keller said. “Worse, it paves the way for Washington Democrats’ reconciliation package that includes socialist priorities like a natural gas tax, mass amnesty for illegal aliens, Green New Deal mandates and 87,000 new IRS agents to spy on your bank accounts.”

He noted that the vote happened “in the cover of darkness while the American people were sleeping. Big government spending is out of control.”

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