Ron talks infrastructure with Oregon labor and business

Ron met last week in Portland with building trades workers and contractors about the urgent need in Oregon and nationwide for a robust infrastructure plan that puts people to work, reduces business costs and fixes failing infrastructure.

The senator’s news conference with those Oregon groups came in the wake of the State of the Union speech and the president’s overdue, vague, insufficient and misleading infrastructure proposal.

“Now that the White House is finally talking about bridges, roads and transportation systems, we want people to understand how important those things are here in Oregon,” said Ron, the Ranking Democrat on the Finance Committee. “The bottom line is you can’t have top-notch bridges and roads with bargain-basement support.”

He said quality roads and bridges are essential to get Oregonians to and from jobs safely, and are crucial to transport the state’s world-renowned goods to market.

“The way you improve bridges and roads and do all the great work these people do is with real federal dollars,” he said at the news conference against the backdrop of the bridges that cross the Willamette River. “We still haven’t heard from the president and the Republicans how that’s going to happen.”

By contrast, Ron said the script for good infrastructure is not a state secret.  

It’s a plan that invests actual federal resources where they’re most needed – on roads, bridges, ports, airports, rail, buses, broadband, water and sewer, schools, and energy.

Then you mix those federal resources with creative financing.  He has written bipartisan legislation known as the Move America Act that would unlock responsible private investment in infrastructure. That legislation builds on his proven bipartisan Build America Bonds program that generated major investment in Oregon infrastructure and nationwide.

Innovative approaches like those bills when combined with federal investment in infrastructure provide the comprehensive solution that’s so sorely needed.

Joining Ron, building trades union officials and contractors at the Portland news conference on the Eastbank Esplanade were officials from the state Department of Transportation,

After Thursday’s news conference, Ron held town halls in Columbia, Multnomah, Clatsop, Tillamook and Washington counties. To keep up with Ron’s townhall schedule throughout the year, go here.