Bipartisan Coalition Calls on Congress to Work Together to Rebuild and Modernize America’s Infrastructure
Smart Infrastructure Investment Will Help Create Jobs and Economic Growth
WASHINGTON, DC – President Barack Obama today announced a jobs package that included $50 billion towards U.S. highways, transit, rail and aviation infrastructure, as well as $10 billion for the creation of a National Infrastructure Bank to leverage private and public capital.
In response, Building America’s Future President Marcia Hale issued the following:
“Infrastructure is too important of an issue to be used as a political football. We hope policymakers will seize on this opportunity rather than offer rejections based on politics. We cannot wait for another tragedy, similar to the levees in New Orleans or the I-35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis, before we decide to repair and modernize our nation’s crumbling infrastructure. There are no Republican or Democrat bridges and ports and highways. Now is the time for Congress to work together to create a National Infrastructure Bank that invests in projects of national and regional importance.
“The World Economic Forum now ranks U.S. infrastructure #15 in the world, down from #1 in 2005. All spending is not created equal - with the national unemployment rate hovering at 9.1 percent and with interest rates at historic lows, improving and modernizing our infrastructure is a no-brainer. While Americans are wasting time, money and fuel sitting in traffic, nations around the world are investing in cutting-edge infrastructure to make their transportation systems more efficient and competitive than ours.”
The President’s proposal follows his announcement last week for a Presidential Memorandum directing departments and agencies to identify high impact, job-creating infrastructure projects that can be expedited through outstanding review and permitting processes and can be completed within 18 months.
“This injection of investment will bolster industries that have been particularly hit hard by the global recession. It’s a smart approach that will create jobs in the short run and improve our quality of life and global competitiveness in the long run. We must cut through the bureaucratic red tape and get nationally significant projects up and running as soon as possible.
“$60 billion towards infrastructure investment will have a dramatic effect on job creation. According to experts, each $1 billion invested in infrastructure produces 25,000 good paying jobs on construction sites and in manufacturing factories. This is a great start, but we believe the infrastructure challenge that America faces requires a long-term commitment.”
Earlier this month, Building America’s Future Educational Fund released a new report – “Falling Apart and Falling Behind” – which examines the transportation infrastructure investments made by the U.S. compared to those made by our economic competitors. The innovative and targeted investments being made by our global competitors have put them on a cycle of investment and economic growth that will improve their standard of living and their citizens’ quality of life. “
“Falling Apart and Falling Behind” contains sobering statistics that illustrate how far the U.S. is falling behind it global economic competitors:
- U.S. infrastructure has fallen from first place in the World Economic Forum’s 2005 economic competitiveness ranking to number 15 today.
- China now boasts six of the world’s top ten ports – and none of the top ten are located in the U.S.
- The Shanghai port now moves more container traffic a year than the top seven U.S. ports combined.
- The U.S. is one of the only leading nations without a national plan for public-private partnerships for infrastructure projects or a National Infrastructure Bank to finance large-scale projects and leverage private capital.
For the full report and more information, please visit www.BAFuture.org/Report.
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Traffic congestion tripled between 1982 and 2005.