Rep. Kelly & Rep. Clay Discuss Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill with Soledad O’Brien

Rep. Kelly & Rep. Clay Discuss Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill with Soledad O’Brien

Lawmakers are lead sponsors of GAIIN Act — new innovative bill to rebuild infrastructure, create jobs in nation’s poorest communities


Kelly: “We have the right people, at the right place, on the right issues”

WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) recently appeared with Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO) on “Matter of Fact” for a joint television interview with host Soledad O’Brien to discuss the details and benefits of their new bipartisan legislation, the Generating American Income and Infrastructure Now Act (GAIIN) Act (H.R. 6104), which they introduced in the House on June 14, 2018, along with Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC).

Interview excerpts:

Soledad O’Brien: “Collapsing roads and bridges, unsafe drinking water, and run-down schools are all problems that both parties say we need to fix, but like many problems facing Republicans and Democrats, they usually don’t agree on the solution. Now, conservatives and liberals have reached common ground on an infrastructure bill that would invest in America’s poorest communities. Democratic Congressman Lacy Clay of Missouri and Republican Congressman Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania, nice to have you both. Very rarely does a liberal member of Congress and a conservative member of Congress sit down and come up with bills together.”

Rep. Kelly: “We both understand that there are so many underserved communities. While the economic atmosphere environment has changed, it hasn’t changed for everybody in the same way. We’re looking at the inner cities right now, and we’re saying, ‘Why don’t we find a way to fund infrastructure projects and also reduce the debt and take the burden off the American taxpayer, and do the right things for the right reasons?’ And good things are happening!”

Rep. Clay: “When you think about it, we’ve been talking about infrastructure for almost two years. We think that this legislation will help kick start that discussion, that debate, and it will give us some substance to work around. And when you think about the inner cities throughout this country, they have been hollowed out. There’s been a lack of investment all of my life, and St. Louis for instance, we have seen services withdrawn from those areas, the city not supporting infrastructure, and … we think that this legislation will give us an opportunity to provide employment opportunities for impoverished communities around this nation.”

Rep. Kelly: “You know it doesn’t really matter that Lacy’s in the Black Caucus, and I’m in the Republican Study Committee, or that Ted Budd is part of the Freedom Caucus. What does matter is when Americans can look at their government and say, You know what? This is working because we have the right people, at the right place, and on the right issues, and they’re working for us.”

Rep. Clay: “This is fiscally responsible when you think about it. Fifty percent going to pay down the national debt, and fifty percent going towards needed infrastructure improvements.”


The GAIIN Act would require the Department of Agriculture to sell its distressed assets on the open market and then direct the Department of Treasury to distribute the proceeds to communities below the national poverty line for infrastructure projects that would directly improve their economic viability. Furthermore, the bill requires that a portion of the workforce for each of these projects must come from the communities being improved.

The bill’s sponsors believe that many of the poorest areas throughout the United States have been routinely overlooked by policymakers in Washington, and that these areas are in dire need of infrastructure improvements that will facilitate economic growth and lasting self-sustainability. They consider the revival of these forgotten cities and towns to be a moral, fiscal, and economic imperative—one that can uniquely unite conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats from minority communities.

Read much more about the GAIIN ACT here and here.