Oct 8, 2019
When it comes to infrastructure, Washington is mired in its version of Bill Murray's “Groundhog Day.” For years now, we have been promised a vast nationwide infrastructure plan yet the issue has been repeatedly pushed aside in favor of competing priorities.
We can no longer stand to wait in this infrastructure time loop. More than 47,000 of America’s bridges are in danger of being structurally unsound. Nearly 20 percent of the country's roads are in miserable shape. The majority of our port infrastructure is inadequate to support the increasingly large ships that help propel U.S. competitiveness. In addition to economic dangers, America’s deteriorated infrastructure continues to endanger public safety. This lack of safety leadership is not shocking when one recognizes that federal infrastructure expenditure as a percentage of gross domestic product has dwindled in the past several decades, falling to fewer than 0.1% of GDP in 2016. Meanwhile, the American Society of Civil Engineers anticipates a $2 trillion infrastructure funding gap over the subsequent ten years. If this issue isn't dealt with, this chasm will cause the U.S. economy to squander almost $4 trillion in GDP between 2019 and 2025. Making investments to fill this hole and build new, resilient infrastructure should be a domain where we can reach a bipartisan deal. Infrastructure benefits households and companies across the nation, as well as the broader marketplace, by reducing expenses, providing assistance like water and electricity to residences and promoting long-term industrial growth through enhanced productivity. All money spent to boost infrastructure produces up to three dollars in economic growth. Investment in infrastructure makes transportation and housing safer by, for instance, fixing unsafe bridges and railroad junctions and restoring aging houses that have raised the dangers of carbon monoxide and lead poisoning, mold or other severe health risks. These investments also guarantee energy commodities like crude oil and liquefied natural gas are moved safely, decreasing the chance of life-threatening accidents and keeping populations protected. With many thousands of transportation deaths each year, the deployment of self-sufficient systems over each method of transportation, and metal and carbon monoxide dangers all buttress the undeniable truth that the federal government can no longer avoid investing in infrastructure. Major capital projects and mega projects – including the Gateway rail and tunnel capital project in New York and New Jersey – only grow more costly when we unnecessarily postpone essential renovations and repairs. Key members of the House Appropriations Committee are fighting to secure these essential infrastructure expenditures. In June, the U.S. House passed sponsoring legislation for the fiscal year 2020 that gives a down payment of $137 billion for transportation and community infrastructure, including $76 billion in new optional support and $61 billion from earmarked reserves. These new laws not only boost infrastructure spending above approved levels for highways, overpasses, transit, railway, harbors, and aeronautics, it lays the foundation to construct infrastructure that can adequately endure the repercussions of climate change. Restoring and enhancing our infrastructure continues to be one of the top difficulties confronting our country. It’s also a sector ready for bipartisan agreement. For the benefit of our economy, living standards, and global competitiveness, Congress and the White House must make meaningful infrastructure plans and investments immediately before a dangerous conditions get even graver.
When it comes to infrastructure, Washington is stuck in its own version of “Groundhog Day.” The Trump Administration has for years promised a “great national infrastructure program,” yet has pushed the issue to the back burner again and again and again.
We can no longer afford to remain in this infrastructure time loop. More than 47,000 of America’s bridges are “structurally deficient.” Nearly 20 percent of the nation’s roads are in poor condition. The majority of our port infrastructure is insufficient to accommodate the increasingly large ships that help drive U.S. competitiveness. In addition to financial risks, America’s neglected infrastructure continues to threaten public safety.