Ed Talks: Federal Investment in Infrastructure & Transportation is the American Dream in Action
America is inching closer to a monumental investment and policy framework for modernizing our transportation system and building next-generation infrastructure.
The U.S. House of Representatives has set a Sept. 27, 2021, deadline to vote on an untethered $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal (the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act) that will dedicate $550 billion in new investment for various physical infrastructure. The Senate has already passed the bill on a strong bipartisan 69-30 vote. If approved by the House, it moves to President Biden to become law and represents a commingling of negotiations and compromises, with both sides of Congress having met in the middle.
Americans favor infrastructure investment. “This is one of relatively few policy areas for which there is strong public support from all Americans, regardless of political identity,” according to Gallup.
I know, however, that passing legislation in D.C. can often feel like a Jenga game and the job is not done yet. Regardless, I want to thank the Americans for Transportation Mobility (ATM) Coalition members and partners who have worked endlessly, and during this global pandemic, to help get this latest bipartisan infrastructure package over the finish line.
The Coalition has been championing federal infrastructure investment through different delivery platforms and broad infrastructure messaging for 20 years.
This bill is evidence that our leaders completely know what is at stake and have an opportunity to deliver on a critical issue impacting every American.
As aspects of budget reconciliation unfold, we will continue to advocate passing the historic bipartisan infrastructure and jobs bill. Addressing America’s physical infrastructure problems now is not a partisan play. It is simply the right thing to do.
We are asking you to contact your Representatives and ask that they vote for this bill and remind them our Hill allies keep working on this front.
Without these investments, the workforce, economy, enterprises, business and labor stakeholders and American families will not see the changes we need in necessary federal investment.
This history-making legislation has the single largest dedicated bridge investment, since the building of the Interstate Highway System, to help address the more than 45,000 structurally deficient bridges in America.1 According to the White House, it includes landmark investments in public transportation and passenger rail.
It also encompasses the ideals of how the United States must evolve to meet current and future challenges. In 1956, Missouri awarded the country’s first major contract to build an interstate highway, what is now I-44.2 Sixty-five years later, America is poised to strengthen traditional infrastructure, build more resilient infrastructure, and integrate innovation and workforce development.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) provides funding for things such as charging stations and electric school buses, which can help reduce emissions. The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) reported in 2020 that investment in infrastructure and clean energy would create at least 6.9 million good jobs.