COATESVILLE — U.S. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, D-6th of Easttown, held a town hall on economic development and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
Houlahan held the event at the Coatesville City Hall on Monday.
Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan held a town hall on economic development and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act at City Hall on Monday. Coatesville City Manager James Logan moderated the event. (JEN SAMUEL — DAILY LOCAL NEWS)
Coatesville City Manager James Logan moderated the event, reading questions from the public to the congresswoman.
Houlahan said thanks to legislation like the American Rescue Plan and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the community, Commonwealth, and country are set to receive historic investments to improve infrastructure over the next decade.
She encouraged people to submit grant proposals, in a competitive process, to receive funds through the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
President Joe Biden signed the bipartisan legislation into law on Nov. 15. Within the legislation, approximately $550 billion has been earmarked to fund new federal investment in America’s roads, bridges, and water infrastructure.
“I understand the importance of making sure our local economy supports working families,” said Houlahan prior to the event.
“Our families and businesses can’t succeed without reliable infrastructure,” she said.
During the town forum on Monday, the congressional representative discussed that the newly passed infrastructure investments will bolster small business competitiveness in and resilience to both global markets and domestic pressures such as natural disasters.
Pennsylvania will receive $1.6 billion for bridge improvements, including for off-system bridges, over the next five years from the new federal act, as previously reported.
The Commonwealth is home to more than 25,400 state-owned bridges.
Pennsylvania is home to 83,184 miles of streams and rivers, more than 4,000 lakes, reservoirs, and ponds, and 120 miles of coastal waters, according to Penn State University.
Houlahan is a member of the House Small Business Committee.
Money en route to Pennsylvania for infrastructure investments include funds set for $11.3 billion for federal highway programs; $1.6 billion for bridge replacement and repairs; $2.8 billion for public transportation; $1.4 billion for water infrastructure; $171 million for EV charging infrastructure; and $100 million for broadband development.
Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan speaks during a town hall on economic development and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act at City Hall on Monday in Coatesville. (JEN SAMUEL — DAILY LOCAL NEWS)
Houlahan told the audience at City Hall that her office receives 10,000 calls each month from constituents. The Congressional 6th District of Pennsylvania covers most of Chester County and some of Berks County. 700,000 people live within the district.
Houlahan said that Pennsylvania is losing a congressional seat at the end of this year, decreasing to 17 representatives from 18, due to population decline in the Commonwealth. As a result of the redistricting, the Congressional 6th District of Pennsylvania will increase territory in Berks County.
Additional topics discussed at the town forum ranged from environment protection to energy independence.
“Our planet is in danger if we don’t change our behavior,” Houlahan said.
Houlahan is up for re-election in November. The U.S. Air Force veteran is presently serving her second term in Congress.