There’s more blooming this spring than just flowers; so are discussions in the House and Senate on infrastructure investment. This week, the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held a Members’ Day Hearing as an opportunity for all Members of the U.S. House of Representatives to discuss their infrastructure investment priorities before the Committee. Lawmakers offered a testimony which cited ASCE’s 2017 Infrastructure Report Card on multiple occasions. Each Member had an opportunity to discuss key categories of infrastructure importance to their district and our nation as a whole
We have let our infrastructure – and our infrastructure funding streams – stagnate to the point where we now need to invest hundreds of billions of dollars to make up for past neglect and plan for the future. There is no way around this reality if we expect improvement. We must now act to address this challenge, by coming together and enacting legislation that will make a difference in every Congressional district and to every Member’s constituents. We must demonstrate to the American people that their government is still capable of working together and taking responsible action to complete critical projects, create family wage jobs, bolster U.S. industries, save lives, preserve affordable access to transportation and water infrastructure, protect our natural resources, and make smart investments and mitigate and adapt to climate change.
ASCE has long been an advocate for maintaining and modernizing the nation’s infrastructure. Our 2017 Infrastructure Report Card rated the overall condition of the nation’s infrastructure a cumulative grade of “D+,” with an investment gap of $2 trillion. This subpar grade and large investment gap are results of the long-term underinvestment and an underwhelming federal partnership. Despite strong leadership across many state and local governments, our infrastructure will continue to degrade if the federal government does not step up to the plate. Failing to sufficiently invest in America’s deteriorating infrastructure will have a cascading impact on the nation’s economy, which will impact business productivity, GDP, employment, personal income, international competitiveness, and public safety.
ASCE applauds the work of Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR4) and Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO6) for their leadership in hosting this hearing. We would also like to thank all of the congressmen and congresswomen mentioned here for their leadership in testifying before the Committee.
This week’s hearing continued the legislative push on Capitol Hill aimed at developing and passing robust and broad infrastructure legislation. This discussion provided lawmakers the opportunity to discuss their infrastructure priorities and the need for continued Federal leadership. We are encouraged by today’s hearing and are eager to continue to work with Congress to improve our nation’s infrastructure.
ASCE’s government relations team is actively engaged as this legislative push continues on Capitol Hill. We urge you reach out to your Members of Congress and tell them to put forward a long-term plan to improve our infrastructure systems.