So we have our first signs of bipartisanship in Congress in many years, as Americans finally receive a desperately needed “gift” from their government.

A trillion dollars will be designated, over 10 years, for improving our crumbling infrastructure -- a true savior from danger and discomfort.

This, all along, was such an obvious piece of necessary legislation that it staggers the imagination to understand why it took so long to pass.

Some of the elements of our infrastructure that will be repaired, replaced or otherwise enhanced are roads, bridges, railroad and bus travel, air facilities and broadband. And some components of the climate crisis will be addressed.

It’s far too early, of course, to speculate on how this will improve life in the North Country -- exactly where the money will be spent here.

But we do know that, for example, that our remoteness, geography and population sparsity contribute to an Internet network that cannot be depended upon.

Billions are to allocated for electric bus manufacturing for commercial, public and school use. Plattsburgh’s Nova Bus will almost certainly see some of the fruits of that campaign, and Bombardier will be a likely beneficiary of the rail effort.

The cost of the enactment of the bill will be huge, but it is beyond question required. Each member of Congress had the opportunity to be able to take some credit for realizing that need outweighs politics in such a critical issue.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, perhaps President Biden’s principle nemesis, called the bill “a godsend” for his state of Kentucky. The vote in the Senate was 69-30, with 19 of 50 Republicans joining their Democratic colleagues in passing the bill.

The House vote was much tighter, with 13 Republicans voting yes.

Most disturbingly, Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan received death threats from people aghast that he would choose constituents over politicians with his yes vote.

From the North Country’s perspective, it will be interesting to see how our 21st District’s Republican representative, Elise Stefanik, will address our local infrastructure improvements as they unfold.

A fierce Trump devotee, she voted against the bill:

“I voted NO on Democrats’ so-called ‘infrastructure’ bill,” she said in a news release. “Democrats’ Far-Left plan prioritizes Green New Deal policies over traditional infrastructure. Its radical policies show Democrats’ priorities are not for the hardworking people of the North Country.”

Her no vote follows years of Stefanik professing that she was working hard to bring much-needed broadband improvements to our region. She has also stressed her environmental record, her alleged bipartisanship and the need for road and bridge improvements in the North Country.

She habitually touts any role she can claim in news welcome to her constituents. As these infrastructure gifts arrive, she will have to keep silent, as she vehemently opposed the package.

Unfortunately for the dissenters, as these projects develop, the country will see, not only the safety and comfort advantages they bring, but the jobs they will create to do the work.

Stefanik and her allies are going to have to watch them and publicly admit that, if they’d had their way, none of it would ever have happened.

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