From a water main break that hindered a morning commute in DC, to the potholes that inhibit safe driving, Americans across the country are experiencing inconveniences and challenges because of deficient roads, bridges, water pipes and other infrastructure. Furthermore, we have an investment shortfall across our major infrastructure sectors of just over $200 billion a year. Underinvesting in these vital systems costs us more in the long run.
Today, Sen. Sanders shared his bill as a vision to better fund infrastructure and address the backlog of needs. As the new ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, Sen. Sanders is taking the opportunity to introduce a $1 trillion, five-year plan for the nation’s infrastructure. The measure would inject an additional $75 billion a year into the Highway Trust Fund, create a national infrastructure bank and expand financing and grant programs. Additionally, it would fund freight and passenger rail improvements, airports, water projects, ports and inland waterways and national parks, along with broadband and electric networks.
ASCE’s Casey Dinges joined the Senator from Vermont to share our vision of what needs to happen to improve our nation’s infrastructure. During his remarks, Casey said “By taking steps to invest in our nation’s infrastructure, the U.S. can protect $3.1 trillion in GDP, $1.1 trillion in U.S. trade value and 3.5 million jobs and a little over $3,000 a year per family. Without these investments, infrastructure – the backbone of our nation’s economy – will continue to decline and Americans will pay the price.”
With the need to #FixTheTrustFund looming ahead, this bill is a positive step in the conversation and a good reminder that inaction is not an option.