This Valentine’s Day the White House (WH) is giving the gift of economical hope by releasing a fact based plan on why America needs to focus on the rebuilding of our infrastructure.
The statement begins with a quote from President Donald Trump, “It’s time to put up soaring new infrastructure that inspires pride in our people and our towns.”
Outlining how Americans overwhelmingly support this plan, the WH detailed some facts:
- In a September 2017 Harvard-Harris poll, 84 percent of those polled believe the United States needs an investment in infrastructure.
- More than three-quarters of those polled, 76 percent, believe infrastructure funding should come from a combination of public funds, bonds, and public-private partnerships.
- An overwhelming number of Americans, 81 percent, believe that infrastructure investments will improve their personal quality of life according to a July 2017 poll conducted by YouGov.
- 89 percent of those polled said investing in infrastructure will strengthen the economy.
- 82 percent believe infrastructure investments will bring more jobs to their communities.
- In a recent Harvard-Harris poll, those polled believed infrastructure should be the second highest priority of Congress and the Administration, only behind stimulating American jobs.
It didn’t stop there though.
The report continued to detail how American businesses also support the investment into our infrastructure:
- The vast majority of business owners believe that investing in infrastructure will improve the economy and see private investments as key, according to a survey conducted by UBS.
- 89 percent of the business owners surveyed believe infrastructure investments will improve the economy.
- 65 percent believe infrastructure investments will improve their business.
- 80 percent support private sector involvement in infrastructure.
- Business owners ranked public-private partnerships and private investment vehicles as the top two ways to fund infrastructure.
- The American Society of Civil Engineers has called for “the creation of strategies to expedite the decision-making in the regulatory process for infrastructure development at federal, state and local levels.”
- The Associated General Contractors of America: “Delays in environmental review and permitting decisions, as well as lengthy procurement processes, often derail the efficient delivery of needed infrastructure projects by many years.”
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce: “It should never take more than two years to complete all federal permits required for an infrastructure project.”
Finally, the report concluded with a show of bipartisan support from elected officials:
- Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI): “Real action to streamline the permitting process will help jumpstart projects that are vital to our communities and our economy.”
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “The problem runs deeper than dollars and cents. American workers built skyscrapers in less time than our government now spends reviewing – not even building, but reviewing – plans for new bridges and stretches of highway.”
- Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Chairman Sen. John Thune (R-SD): “Aligning federal infrastructure funding with local priorities and looking at other impediments to building would increase accountability and help us meet our most critical infrastructure needs faster.”
- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has previously acknowledged the dire state of American infrastructure and expressed concern that partisanship had held back past infrastructure improvement efforts.
- Minority Leader Pelosi in 2016: “…we have infrastructure problems around our country.”
- In 2016, Minority Leader Pelosi stated, “We have been talking about it [infrastructure] a long time. It never used to be a partisan issue. We used to always be able to come to terms on it in a bipartisan way. We have to go to a place like that.”
- Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has expressed concern about the condition of our nation’s infrastructure.
- Minority Leader Schumer in 2011: “It is no secret that much of our nation’s infrastructure is in disrepair…”
- Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL): “Modernizing our transportation and communication networks is something we all agree the U.S. desperately needs in order to create more jobs and maintain our leadership in the global economy.”
- Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) in 2015: “America’s infrastructure is falling behind other nations, and it’s costing us jobs, compromising safety, and constraining economic growth.”
- Former Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) under President Obama, Cass Sunstein has stated: “The status quo is not great. It’s ridiculous…. It can take several years, and millions of dollars, to obtain environmental clearance for construction permits, even if the goal is to develop green infrastructure and to improve the environment.”
- President of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) Terry O’Sullivan and Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) wrote: “America used to be known as a country that built great structures on time and on budget. If real federal permitting reform is part of a broad-based infrastructure initiative, we can be that country again.”
- Common Good, a nonpartisan reform coalition, issued a report in 2015 stating: “Rebuilding America’s decrepit infrastructure requires a new permitting system. Approvals today can take a decade, sometimes longer.”
- The Bipartisan Policy Center issued a report in 2016 stating: “Infrastructure projects are subject to various environmental and planning statutes and typically require multiple permits, from many levels of government. The risk that a project will be delayed due to sequential permitting and reviews is one of the biggest barriers to getting projects done.”
- The Bipartisan Policy Center also stated: “Permitting and environmental review, particularly when executed sequentially, is one of the most significant deterrents to private capital investing in U.S. infrastructure projects.”
This is exciting news for America and much needed for the benefit of our future. Once again, Trump is keeping his promise of making America great again!