After decades of neglect, the state of American infrastructure is poor. America currently ranks 13th in the world when it comes to the overall quality of our infrastructure and the American Society of Civil Engineer’s 2021 Report Card rated it a C-.
It is past time we brought our infrastructure into the 21st century, and that is exactly what the $1.2 trillion bipartisan bill passed in the Senate and now up for consideration in the House does. It is the largest federal investment in both public transit, clean drinking water, and waste water infrastructure in American history. It is the largest investment in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak and makes the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system.
The bipartisan infrastructure bill will benefit all Americans by creating millions of jobs, improving global competitiveness, and adding trillions of dollars in economic growth at a time when we need it most.
Here’s the top 10 ways the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act benefits all Americans:
- Ensures U.S. infrastructure remains competitive with China: China spent over $8 trillion on infrastructure in 2020, and it isn’t slowing down. Investing in American infrastructure will ensure our military readiness, national resiliency, and global competitiveness.
- Represents the most fiscally responsible infrastructure package in at least a decade: The bipartisan infrastructure package is paid for through a combination of new revenues and savings. Long-term investment in capital assets will save taxpayers money and generate additional economic activity.
- Reforms the permitting process to cut government red tape: Onerous government permitting processes hinders growth and reduces the impact of taxpayer dollars. The bipartisan infrastructure package will streamline the permitting process.
- Leverages private-sector investment to build our infrastructure: The bill increases the use of public-private partnerships which cuts down on the cost of project delivery to the American taxpayer in both construction and project life-cycle costs.
- Unlike other government spending, investment in infrastructure is not inflationary: By limiting short-term spending in preference of long-term investment on the things businesses need to operate efficiently, placing downward pressure on consumer prices.
- Ensures all Americans – including rural Americans – can access high-speed internet: Connecting America through expansions in broadband internet access will help bridge the digital divide, providing rural Americans with greater access to the tools of the 21st century necessary to succeed in a changing work environment.
- Ensures investment occurs in all corners of the country, not just big cities: Repairing bridges, roadways, and waterways will address critical agricultural needs. It will also build important fire and drought resilience to protect agricultural production.
- Reduces wasteful spending by using excess COVID money for infrastructure: The package rescinds hundreds of billions of dollars in unused COVID-19 related spending and reinvests them in long-term infrastructure projects that will generate growth.
- Supported by a majority of Republican, Democrat, and Independent voters: 70% of voters support this bipartisan legislation. Sixty-nine senators, nineteen of them Republican, voted for the bill’s passage in the Senate.
- Invests in resilient, long-lasting infrastructure: The infrastructure bill tackles the challenges brought on by climate change through both major investments and needed permitting reforms, for a roughly $100 billion total investment in climate, energy, and sustainability programs.
Investing in America’s infrastructure is critical to our economic recovery, prosperity and quality of life. The longer our elected leaders wait to pass this critical legislation, the more our roads, bridges, and highways will deteriorate and the more it will cost every American. Let’s not waste any more time, let’s start rebuilding America’s infrastructure now.