Let's Rebuild America

Economic productivity and global competitiveness depend on thriving and reliable transportation infrastructure. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as the leading voice of America’s business community, believes that strong transportation infrastructure will lower operating costs, increase profitability, mitigate logistical challenges, and provide a catalyst for investment.

 

It’s time to get America moving again.

 

Our Plan

For almost 100 years, America’s infrastructure has been the envy of the world. But over more recent decades, total investment in transportation has fallen as a share of gross domestic product—while population, congestion, and maintenance backlogs have increased.

America’s infrastructure is in terrible condition. Inaction is simply not an option. We need to modernize America’s infrastructure immediately. The time to act is now.

 

SURFACE TRANSPORTATION

To rebuild and expand our roads, bridges, and transit systems, it is time for a modest increase in the federal motor vehicle user fee. The user fee was last raised in 1993. Since then, inflation has eroded nearly 40% of its value. In addition, vehicles are significantly more fuel efficient than they were 25 years ago. As a result, motorists spend less on fuel to drive the same number of miles, but there is significantly less revenue to maintain the roads they drive on.

Specifically, we call on Congress to raise the user fee by 5 cents per year for five years for a total of 25 cents and adjust the fee to inflation thereafter.

 

CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE FINANCING

Rebuilding and modernizing our airports, ports, waterways, water systems, dams, rail systems, utilities, and other core infrastructure require a multifaceted financial approach that includes leveraging private-sector resources. We can meet today’s infrastructure needs and build for the
future by financing the costs over the long term.

A small federal investment now would leverage significant additional funding for infrastructure projects. This would allow the nation to embark on the rebuilding that we need without breaking the bank.

 

PERMIT STREAMLINING

The permitting process for major infrastructure projects is broken. It can take longer to get government permits than it takes to construct a project. It takes on average five years to complete an environmental impact statement, a federal requirement for many large projects. And depending on the type of project, permitting can involve state and local approvals in addition to myriad federal permits.

In addition to setting firm deadlines, it is time for Congress to merge sequential and duplicative reviews, codify the “One Federal Decision” policy so that there is a single agency responsible for shepherding a project through the approval process, and ensure that post-approval lawsuits do not needlessly delay projects.

 

THE WORKFORCE NECESSARY TO REBUILD OUR INFRASTRUCTURE

Rebuilding America’s infrastructure will require skilled workers ready and able to take on new projects. Yet today—before any major new investment in our infrastructure—78% of construction firms report that they are having a hard time finding qualified workers. If we do not expand the workforce, it will be impossible to move ahead with the projects that need to be undertaken.

We need to keep the skilled workers who are currently in the workforce because of programs like DACA and TPS. Ultimately, Congress must enact immigration reform so that we can attract and admit the skilled workers our nation needs.

Recent Activity

Press ReleaseMay 15, 2017 - 9:00am

U.S. Chamber Survey Shows Voter Support for Federal Investment in Infrastructure

Voters Say Federal Investment Would Create Jobs, Help American Businesses

Above the FoldApr 07, 2017 - 3:00pm
Tom Donohue at the #LetsGrow Atlanta event with Georgia Chamber President and CEO Chris Clark, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, and Georgia Governor Nathan Deal

Chamber Snapshots: The First Quarter of 2017 in Photos

2017 is off to a busy start for the U.S. Chamber.

Above the FoldMar 23, 2017 - 12:00pm
Highway Texas

Infrastructure: An Investment Worth Making

America’s infrastructure is the safest investment our nation can make. But investing means more than tossing money at the problem.

Above the FoldMar 16, 2017 - 9:30am
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Airlines’ Payment Systems Are Tempting Targets for Cyber Attack

Make no mistake about it – the aviation industry has been and will continue to be under assault from cyber criminals around the globe.

Above the FoldMar 09, 2017 - 2:00pm
istock-91546410.jpg

America's Infrastructure Was Just Graded A D+ — Here’s What We Should Do About It

The latest findings are a striking confirmation of what we already know: America’s infrastructure is in desperate need of repair.

Above the FoldMar 08, 2017 - 11:30am
Ed Mortimer, U.S. Chamber executive director for Transportation Infrastructure, testifies before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee.

Making the Case Before the Senate for Infrastructure Investment

Improving our infrastructure will be a key component in modernizing many parts of the country.

Above the FoldMar 06, 2017 - 9:00am
The 16th Annual Aviation Summit

Innovation That’s Out of This World

Last week's Aviation Summit is another way that the Chamber has supported economic growth this year.

Above the FoldMar 02, 2017 - 3:30pm
Airbus’ Allan McArtor

Aviation Summit: Airbus’ Allan McArtor Receives the Carol B. Hallett Award

One of the highlights of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s annual Aviation Summit is the presentation of the Carol B. Hallett Award.

Above the FoldFeb 27, 2017 - 2:30pm
Airliner crusing into the sky. The State of American Aviation

The State of American Business: Help Aviation Fly High

Smart infrastructure investments and FAA reauthorization can support a strong American aviation industry.