Letter on H.R. 3401, "National Infrastructure Bank Act of 2007"
March 10, 2008
The Honorable Keith Ellison
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Representative Ellison:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region, thanks you and your colleagues for sponsoring H.R. 3401, "National Infrastructure Bank Act of 2007."
The current condition of the nation's major infrastructure systems is threatening the United States' competitiveness and economy, and Americans' way of life. In the next 30 years, domestic freight volume is forecast to double and international freight volume entering U.S. ports may quadruple, according to American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that congestion costs America $200 billion per year and Americans lose almost 4 billion hours a year sitting in traffic jams. The 2005 Bureau of the Census survey found that only 54 percent of American households have access to public transportation of any kind as they plan their daily travel. The United States' network of waterways has not had a comprehensive agenda to guide upkeep and development for years, and the drinking and wastewater systems range from 50 to 100 years in age.
The needs of the nation's infrastructure system are staggering. Unfortunately, the level of federal investment in infrastructure is not keeping pace with these needs. The Chamber believes Congress should develop strategies to ensure federal investments are coordinated amongst key stakeholders at the local, state, and federal levels and leverage both private and public capital to fund projects of regional and national significance.
The Chamber is putting money, people, research, and programs around a sustained, longterm campaign called Let's Rebuild America. The Chamber is employing every resource at its disposal around four key goals:
- Establishing infrastructure as a core economic issue and a high priority for all levels of
- Fostering public awareness and Chamber involvement;
- Encouraging private sector investment; and
- Promoting adequate public funding for infrastructure guided by effective policies.
The Chamber appreciates you and your colleagues' recognition that all funding and financing strategies must be employed to address the nation's infrastructure crisis and looks forward to working with you.
R. Bruce Josten