Delaware heads of state and government join forces to celebrate the Biden Infrastructure Act


Pete Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth Beach, sat on the South Lawn of the White House on November 15th.

“The message I got was that if we work together we can achieve this,” said the Rehoboth Beach resident, spokesman for the Delaware House of Representatives. “It was a scenario that you don’t get to see very often.”

Schwarztkopf was in the audience when Delaware’s own President Joe Biden signed the $ 1 trillion infrastructure bill. The bill was passed with largely democratic votes. Thirteen Republicans in the House of Representatives and 19 in the Senate voted in favor of the bill, which will provide money to repair the country’s aging roads and bridges, upgrade the electricity network, and expand broadband internet.

Schwartzkopf said Delaware should receive approximately $ 1.2 billion to repair federal roads and bridges. “Little did I know we had 19 bridges in disrepair,” he said, adding that about 400 miles of the state’s freeways also received a bad rating from the Federal Highway Administration.

Schwartzkopf expects that the legislature will have to rethink its financing formula for highways. “A lot is funded through the gas tax and I expect the funding formula to change,” he said.

Although Delaware has already launched a clean water fund to improve drinking water for residents, Schwartzkopf welcomes federal funding to offset the $ 50 million that Delaware has set aside.

“That’s money that we can use for that too,” he said. “It’s money that we don’t have to use out of our budget.”

Schwartzkopf said he expected airports across the state, including Sussex County, to benefit from funds earmarked for improvements, and federal funding will also help support the state’s mission to bring high-speed internet to all homes and businesses .

“It’s a lot of money, but it’s the biggest infrastructure investment we’ve made in 100 years, or at least in my life,” he said.

Senator Chris Coons, D-Delaware, also attended the signing ceremony and applauded the bill.

“President Biden’s signing of the bipartisan infrastructure agreement lays the foundation for many years of infrastructure improvements in the United States – from upgrading our roads, railways and bridges to improving clean water, climate resilience and access to high-speed internet,” he said called. “The new law will promote clean energy while creating quality, well-paying jobs across our state without raising taxes, and I was honored to be part of the group that negotiated this deal.”

Lisa Blunt Rochester MP said the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will attract long overdue investments in Delaware and across the country.

“I was thrilled to join President Biden and colleagues from across the political spectrum as the president signed the bipartisan infrastructure bill,” she said. “These funds will enable Delaware to make historic improvements to its land and highway infrastructure, as well as its broadband and clean water initiatives. Today’s signing ceremony was proof that together we can still achieve great and important things for our country. ”

Schwartzkopf said the ceremony was a welcome change from the poisonous negativity that often permeates Washington, DC politics.

He boasted Sen. Ernie Lopez, R-Lewes, who will step down from his seat after the 2022 election but has worked with Schwartzkopf on many local issues over the years.

“People deserve people who choose them to compromise and work together. Ernie and I work very well together, ”said Schwarztkopf. “I wish they’d all remember why they were elected and band together and work on things, but they’re too busy fighting each other and fighting over who gets credit.”

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