A thriving economy depends on modern, well-functioning infrastructure. The movement of goods and people is critical to ensuring continuing prosperity, and investment in America’s transportation networks has the potential to create millions of good-paying, middle class jobs. Unfortunately, Congress has neglected to provide the necessary level of investment to ensure world class transportation infrastructure.
America’s infrastructure is at a breaking point. Roadways are clogged with traffic and littered with potholes. Transit systems are straining with billions of dollars in deferred maintenance. The nation’s ports face tens of billions in needed upgrades to handle expanding trade and shipping. A lack of investment is choking potential growth.
Action to date has not met the scope of the problems America faces. Independent estimates show an infrastructure investment gap of as much as $2 trillion over the next decade, beyond current spending commitments. It is time for the federal government to take swift action – to ensure sustainable, long-term funding for the existing infrastructure trust funds, and to take a step further, and finally address the historic underinvestment in our national infrastructure.
State and local governments have already stepped up to the plate, increasing infrastructure investment even while grappling with budget shortfalls that date to the Great Recession. The federal government must join them in meeting this challenge and provide additional infrastructure funding.
Senator Wyden has been a leader in advocating for increasing direct federal investment in America’s transportation networks. As Chairman of the Finance Committee, he is a lead cosponsor of the Bridge Investment Act, which would provide a historic $75 billion investment in repairing, replacing, and upgrading the nation’s bridges. He is also a key author of the Blueprint to Rebuild America’s Infrastructure, a comprehensive package of bills that would provide $1 trillion in infrastructure funding and create more than 15 million new jobs.
In addition to fighting for more funding, Senator Wyden has long been a champion of providing state and local governments with the financing tools to leverage funding dollars and unlock additional private investment. Senator Wyden helped create the Build America Bond program during the depths of the 2008-2009 recession, which resulted in more than $180 billion in infrastructure investment over a two year period. He is also the author of the Move America Act, which would reform outdated bond rules in the tax code and could leverage more than $225 billion in private sector infrastructure investment.
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