YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Ohio Democrats met Friday to discuss how the newly passed bipartisan infrastructure bill will impact Ohio.

The new bill allocates funds to help improve roadways and bridges as well as expand broadband internet access.

Valley Congressman Tim Ryan spoke about the bill’s impact here in the Valley. He said it provides two major things: Creates jobs and prepares the country to beat China.

“From the Mahoning Valley, this is desperately needed. We’re trying to move into the new economy,” Ryan said.

Ryan mentioned the GM/Ultium battery plant and Lordstown Motors. He said that these businesses will fail to thrive in the Valley unless they have access to things like water and good infrastructure. Ryan says the bill is a good first step into those investments.

Republican Congressman Bill Johnson said he did not support the legislation, saying the bill is an “enormous giveaway to big cities.”

The US House’s so-called “bipartisan infrastructure bill”, unfortunately, has relatively little investment in real much-needed infrastructure – things that would actually benefit the people of eastern and southeastern Ohio like roads, bridges, sewers and broadband.  Instead, the majority of the bill is an enormous giveaway to big cities and “green” interests at the expense of hardworking Americans, jammed through the House with no serious efforts to reach any sort of real bipartisan compromise. While I didn’t support the legislation because I felt it sold the American people out, now that it is law I will fight for Eastern Ohio’s fair share – it’s my responsibility. Besides, it’s not Congress’ money or any politician’s money anyway – it’s the American people’s hard-earned tax dollars. And for far too long, the hard working taxpayers in the Mahoning Valley and rural Ohio have been left behind by both Washington D.C. and Columbus.  I will continue fighting for them.

Congressman Bill Johnson