Warren and Auchincloss Celebrate Major Funding for Fall River
"I just want to start by saying, 'Wohoo!'" Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said to an excited crowd of students and community leaders at Fall River's B.M.C. Durfee High School Friday morning.
"Because this is a moment of celebration," she said.
Warren, along with U.S. Rep. Jake Auchincloss (D-MA), who represents Fall River in Congress, visited Durfee High to meet with students and celebrate major funding victories for the school and for the city.
Over $14 million in the last 12 months has been invested in Fall River's infrastructure by the Environmental Protection Agency. This was made possible by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which are the legislative lynchpins of President Joe Biden's "Build Back Better" policy agenda.
Areas of investment for the robust funding include approximately $4 million for providing a fleet of electric powered zero-emission school buses for Fall River public schools and $10 million for an overhaul of the city's water line service that will involve the identification and replacement of lead pipes to ensure city residents have access to clean drinking water.
Warren noted that the fleet of zero-emission buses are part of a national initiative made possible by funding from Congress and said it is in service to the Biden Administration's ambitious goal of a 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
Sen. Warren also posited that the buses will come with a significantly lower maintenance burden, which will give greater flexibility to school budgets.
"So instead of spending a lot of money to prepare engines, we're gonna spend that money on teachers, we're going to spend that money on education we're going to spend that money on our students," Warren said.
Auchincloss directly addressed the students in the crowd. He said this funding and the legislative success of Biden and a majority Democratic Congress can be a valuable lesson in the importance of civic engagement.
"I know that for many of you Washington seems distant and broken, a reality TV show," Auchincloss said. "But what happens in Washington matters. Having a government that works matters. These last two years, government has worked."
"We passed generational investments in infrastructure, science, and domestic manufacturing," he said. "We passed legislation to keep weapons out of the hands of Americans who should not have them and put weapons in the hands of Ukrainians fighting on the frontlines of the free world. And we passed the biggest boldest climate action and clean energy investment in history."
Also in attendance was EPA Regional Manager David Cash, Mass DEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg, District Director for U.S. Rep. Bill Keating (D-MA) Mike Jackman, Massachusetts Senate Chairman of Ways and Means Mike Rodrigues (D-Westport), State Rep.Carole Fiola (D-Fall River), Fall River Mayor Paul Coogan, and Fall River Director of Community Utilities Paul Ferland.
Warren was later asked to react to the recent news that her colleague in the Senate, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, switched her party affiliation from Democrat to Independent. Warren shrugged it off and referenced her work with Independent Senators Angus King of Maine and Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
She then pivoted to the results of the recent midterm elections.
“When Democrats fight for people, when they deliver for people, Democrats win," Warren said.
When asked if by WBSM if the Democratic Caucus in the Senate will remain at 51 senators, Warren replied, "As far as I know."