Dear Senator Reid, Senator McConnell, Madam Speaker and Mr. Boehner,
As members of Building America’s Future, we write to urge action by the House and Senate on legislation that will create a National Infrastructure Bank to help our cities and states find additional methods of financing for projects of regional and national significance. President Obama reiterated his support for this idea on September 6, 2010 and we applaud that announcement. As you may know, the U.S. Conference of Mayors recently endorsed this concept for its potential to correct the dire state of disrepair in which we find our nation’s infrastructure – our roads, bridges, transit systems, drinking and waste water systems and our broadband network.
The House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures recently held a hearing during which Governor Ed Rendell (D-PA) and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D-Los Angeles) testified about the need for a new entity to focus our nation’s investment power around key projects of regional and national significance. Congress has failed to pass a six-year transportation bill and, as a result, there is no national vision as to how we will plan for the next decade and more. The economic challenges we still face are all the more reason for us to look to the future and find new ways to create jobs, rebuild our decaying infrastructure, improve our quality of life, increase safety and keep our nation economically competitive.
In addition to its endorsement of the National Infrastructure Bank, the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ report also outlined the economic benefits – including job creation – that high-speed rail will have throughout our country. High-speed rail is an excellent example of a project that would benefit greatly from a National Infrastructure Bank. If local, state and federal governments work together and with the private sector, we can continue to make progress.
A National Infrastructure Bank is not the singular solution to our infrastructure problems. However, it is an effective model used by countries in Europe and Asia to ensure that projects are chosen on merit rather than politics. We cannot wait for another economic disaster to occur or for the United States’ competitive standing in the world to fall further.
We urge your support for this effort to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure, which will have a very real impact on the day-to-day lives of our fellow Americans, and stand ready to assist in any way we can.