(The Center Square) - On the one-year anniversary of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) signed by President Joe Biden in November 2021, the White House issued a press release touting its impact in Nebraska. “To date, $1.2 billion in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding has been announced and is headed to Nebraska with over 110 specific projects identified for funding,” the release reads.
But the claim met a skeptical response in Lincoln. “While these funds are now being funneled through IIJA, a majority of these projects were funded through pre-existing federal programs,” Alex Reuss, Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts’ spokesperson, told The Center Square in an email.
Less than $600 million of the funding is new spending – targeted at roads, bridges, high-speed internet service and electrical vehicle infrastructure, among other things. Most of the money is from programs predating the Biden administration and created under President Donald Trump or previous administrations.
Moreover, the projects remain at the earliest stages, with much of the spending slated for years in the future. For instance, one Nebraska project touted by the Biden press release for bringing broadband to “58,000 households in Nebraska” has yet to provide funding for a single home. Nebraska is still waiting for the funding to plan the project.
The Biden administration has been caught exaggerating signature achievements in the past. An AP fact check from the time of the bill’s passage explains how the administration’s “vastly inflated projections” of the jobs the legislation would produce had migrated from claims of 19 million jobs to less than a million.