Esty Announces Creation of New Bipartisan Congressional Infrastructure Caucus
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Rep. Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) announced the formation of a new, bipartisan Congressional Infrastructure Caucus to focus on investment in the nation’s outdated roads, bridges, rails, airports, transit, wastewater systems, and drinking water. Esty was joined by Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr. (TN-2), Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18), and Rep. Garret Graves (LA-6). The lawmakers worked closely with Infrastructure Week, a roundtable of organizations from the business and labor communities, to develop the effort.
Infrastructure Week will work closely with the Congressional Infrastructure Caucus on programming to advance a strong national infrastructure agenda. Infrastructure Week, to be held May 14-21, 2018, is led by its Steering Committee: the AFL-CIO, American Society of Civil Engineers, Business Roundtable, Brookings Institution, Building America's Future, the National Association of Manufacturers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Value of Water Campaign.
“Investments in infrastructure are investments in safety, jobs, and American competitiveness,” Esty said. “At a time when 338 Connecticut bridges are classified as structurally deficient, it is more important than ever that we prioritize needed repairs and essential new construction. With this Caucus, we will have an opportunity to call for action on America’s infrastructure needs and create good-paying American jobs.”
“I am pleased to join with my colleagues in establishing this bipartisan caucus to highlight the importance of our Nation’s infrastructure,” Duncan said. “Investing in our infrastructure generates jobs, reduces congestion, improves safety, and ensures that our Country can remain competitive in a global economy.”
"Things are pretty divided in America right now but everybody I talk to in the Hudson Valley seems to agree that fixing up our roads, bridges, and railways is just common sense. This caucus will help us set aside the party politics and get to work, in a bipartisan way, on making real investments in our infrastructure," Maloney said. "We've all been working across the aisle on this for years anyway, so pulling together a formal caucus is long overdue."
“The recent string of hurricanes remind us how critical our nation’s infrastructure is and should caution us to stop debating whether we will make these investments and start deciding how,” Graves said. “The decisions we make today on our roads, bridges, airports, waterways, ports, levees and coastal projects will either support or undermine every aspect of life – from safety and security to our economy and global competitiveness. It’s time to take a proactive – instead of a reactionary – approach on infrastructure.”
“Rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure isn’t a Democratic issue or a Republican issue, it’s an American issue, and it’s one that we should all come together to support. We’re encouraged that the Congressional Infrastructure Caucus is taking bipartisan steps to address this critical issue,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “With skilled workers ready to do the work, it’s time for Congress to move forward to create good paying jobs and to build an infrastructure we can all be proud of.”
“For years, the Chamber has highlighted the need to modernize our nation’s infrastructure in order to help our economy grow,” said Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “The time for federal action is long overdue, so we welcome the creation of the Congressional Infrastructure Caucus as a new ally to promote bipartisan action on this critical issue.”
“Infrastructure is the backbone of the America’s economy, yet because of decades of underinvestment, it received a ‘D+’ in the 2017 Infrastructure Report Card,” said Kristina Swallow, P.E., President, American Society of Civil Engineers. “The Congressional Infrastructure Caucus is an example of the bipartisan leadership we need to improve our infrastructure through investment and thoughtful policymaking so that it’s built for the future.”
“Years of underinvestment in U.S. infrastructure have given other countries a significant competitive advantage over the United States. With such strong bipartisan support, now is the time to restore America’s competitive edge by investing in every aspect of U.S. infrastructure,” said Joshua Bolten, President & CEO, Business Roundtable.
“Manufacturers believe the nation must undertake an infrastructure effort that seeks to modernize our aging systems, puts to work private sector capital to increase efficiencies and deliver results, prioritizes and expands public investment and makes a long-term public commitment to infrastructure not witnessed since the era of President Eisenhower,” said Jay Timmons, President, National Association of Manufacturers. The infrastructure investments of the 1950s and 1960s brought tremendous economic benefits, improved productivity and competitiveness and allowed manufacturing to grow and put people to work in solid middle class jobs.”
“The state of our nation’s roads, rails, bridges, runways and dams is dire, and we need direct federal funding to meet the demands of current and future generations,” said Marcia Hale, President of Building America’s Future. “Infrastructure has always been a bipartisan issue and we look forward to working with Republicans and Democrats in the Caucus to ensure that a smart and long-term infrastructure plan is funded and approved.”
"We are thrilled to see Congress take this important, bipartisan step towards building a better country. When we talk about infrastructure investment, it is critical to remember the water and wastewater systems we all depend on. We support moving from discussion to action and hope to see a comprehensive infrastructure investment bill soon," said Radhika Fox, Director of the Value of Water Campaign.