Senate clears new interstate highway between Texas and Georgia
Interstate 14 would be widened to cross central Texas and cover much of the eastern Sun Belt before ending in Georgia, according to a plan approved by the Senate and pending House action.
“This is a bipartisan amendment that will link important military bases but also provide economic growth and jobs from the Permian Basin to the Atlantic,” Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas, told the Star-Telegram. He and Senator Raphael Warnock, D-Georgia, sponsored the proposal.
The Senate accepted the Cruz-Warnock amendment on a voice vote. He now needs the approval of the House, which is not expected to return to votes until September 20.
I-14 is a 25 mile stretch of highway that runs from Belton to Fort Hood. Cruz and Warnock’s amendment would extend I-14 to start in Odessa and cross central Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama before ending in Augusta, Georgia.
The Senate considered changes to its $ 1,000 billion infrastructure bill all week. Senator John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, joined with Senator Alex Padilla, a Democrat from California, on an amendment that would allow states and local governments to use 30% of their unspent COVID-19 relief funds for infrastructure.
The 30% cap on unspent COVID-19 funds came after negotiations with the White House, Cornyn told reporters. Several Senate Democrats have expressed support for Cornyn and Padilla’s amendment and it is expected to pass by an overwhelming majority, Cornyn said.
Currently, state and local governments must use COVID-19 relief funds for the intended purposes of managing the pandemic and stabilizing local governments and economies.