Joe Manchin gets $1 billion in infrastructure funding from Gayle Connelly

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Joe Manchin gets $1 billion in infrastructure funding from Gayle Connelly

Buried in the 2,702-page bipartisan plan that senators could pass as soon as this week is $1 billion in funding for a commission headed by Sen. Joe Manchin, one of the key Democratic negotiators.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act would fund $6 billion for the Appalachian Regional Commission, an economic development partnership agency between the government and 13 states in the Appalachian region that is co-chaired by Gayle Connelly Manchin.

Biden tapped Gayle Manchin to the role in March, and she was unanimously confirmed by the Senate one month later.

The proposed legislation envisions spending $1 billion over five years in order to fund the Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization initiative, a program that provides grants to communities affected by coal-related job losses. Biden initially proposed the funding increase as part of his Build Back Better economic agenda.

Gayle Manchin said in a May statement that the $1 billion which will roughly double the current funding level will allow it to more accurately meet the overwhelming needs of communities impacted by job losses caused by the decline in coal industry. These grants will be instrumental to growing appalachian economy and productive life.

Before joining the commission, Gayle Manchin had many years of experience in community development projects, including working as a teacher and director of the Fairmont State University community service program. She also served as West Virginia's secretary of education and arts under Republican Gov. Joseph J. Fox. Her husband, Joe Manchin a bipartisan Democrat who emerged as one of the most powerful members of the 50-50 Senate in this year helped craft the $1 trillion bill alongside a group of 20 moderate lawmakers.

His office did not immediately respond to a FOX Business request for comment, although he said earlier that his wife will bring the experience and skills to effectively lead the commission.

The infrastructure bill includes about $550 billion in new funding for roads, bridges, rail, transit, water and other traditional infrastructure programs. It will be paid by repurposing unspent coronavirus relief funds, along with recouping unspent unemployment money, unemployment dollars returned by states that prematurely ended a federal $300 - a-week benefit, targeted corporate user fees, strengthening tax enforcement for cryptocurrencies and economic growth created by the investments.