WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Thursday that a roughly $1 trillion, bipartisan infrastructure package now before the Senate could deliver tens of billions of dollars for New York transit, highways, airports, passenger rail and water projects.
As the package stands now, New York could get $10.76 billion for the MTA, about $13.5 billion for highways, $937 million for airports, and billions of dollars more for Amtrak and passenger rail as well as water projects, all spread over five years, said Schumer, a Brooklyn Democrat.
"This is sort of a record for infrastructure for New York," Schumer told Newsday in a phone interview. "It's a really shot in the arm for Long Island transit and for New York transit, as well as New York highways, rail, bridges, you name it."
The Senate brought the package to the floor with a strong bipartisan 67-32 procedural vote Wednesday, after a group of 22 Republican and Democratic senators agreed on a top-line dollar amount with President Joe Biden and then reached a deal after negotiating for five weeks.
"I’m glad to see these discussions making progress and I was happy to vote to begin moving the Senate toward what ought to be a robust, bipartisan floor process for legislation of this magnitude," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Thursday morning.
Schumer said he expects that the Senate will be able to debate, amend and pass the package by next week.
It then goes to the House, which already has gone on a long August recess and won’t be back until mid-September. But Schumer said the House will pass it and might even add more funding to it.
"The president's all for it. He helped negotiate it, so there's no problem there," Schumer said. "And the House will pass it too. They'll either pass it or make it even better."
Despite Schumer’s confidence, the package has not been written into legislative language yet, and it could hit snags and obstacles along the way.
Schumer, who is up for reelection next year, wasted no time in touting its benefits for New York.
Key New York transit projects such as the Gateway Program, East River tunnels, Penn Access and the Second Avenue Subway would be eligible for funding through $8 billion the package includes for competitive capital investment grants, Schumer said.
And Amtrak would be in line for $16 billion for backlogged capital projects nationally and $6 billion for Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor capital projects, according to Schumer’s office.
Kennedy Airport could get nearly $295 million and LaGuardia Airport $150 million for upgrades and repairs, according to Schumer.
Long Island could benefit from nearly $31 million for its seven airports. That includes $21.6 million for Long Island MacArthur Airport in Islip and $3.7 million for Republic Airport in East Farmingdale.
The package now includes nearly $1.5 million each for Francis S. Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach, East Hampton Airport and Brookhaven Airport, and $550,000 each for Elizabeth Field Airport on Fishers Island and Bayport Aerodrome.