New Democrat Coalition Members Propose Bipartisan Infrastructure and Tax Reform Package
Today, 46 New Democrat Coalition Members sent a letter to President Trump on the opportunity to move a big infrastructure package tied with tax reform. For too long, Congress has relied on irresponsible, stop-gap measures that hinder economic growth and make it more difficult to revitalize our outdated infrastructure and Byzantine tax code.
New Dems are willing to work with anyone to revitalize our nation’s infrastructure and provide the necessary foundation for robust growth and new jobs. The White House has expressed interest in a trillion dollar infrastructure package, and New Dems stand ready to find agreement on a visionary plan that brings our infrastructure system into the 21st century and once again makes American businesses the most competitive in the world.
The New Democrat Coalition’s 21st Century Infrastructure Task Force Co-Chairs Reps. John Delaney, Elizabeth Esty, Stacey Plaskett, and Norma Torres led the letter.
The text of the letter can be found below and a signed copy of the letter can be found here.
May 17, 2017
Dear President Trump,
As Members of the New Democrat Coalition, we are committed to working toward bipartisan policies that create jobs and grow the economy in every town and city across the country. In the coming months, we have an opportunity to find agreement on a visionary plan that brings our infrastructure system into the 21st century and once again makes American businesses the most competitive in the world.
America’s network of transportation, energy, water, broadband, and civic infrastructure was once the envy of the entire world. And yet, today, it is crumbling all around us. The National Highway System, one of the crowning human achievements of the 20th century, is badly in need of repair and is not keeping up with the projected growth in the American economy. Mexico and Canada are outcompeting American ports because they are making huge investments to accommodate Post-Panamax ships, and many of our airports pale in comparison to those in Europe and Asia. Our water and energy pipelines are outdated, inefficient, and in many places, a danger to the American people. Our electric grid is also deeply vulnerable to attack and needs a nationwide upgrade.
Put simply, this is the result of a federal government that has failed to invest in the basic needs of the American people. For too long, we have underinvested and relied on short-sighted, stop-gap measures that don’t provide the level of funding we need to support a world-class economy. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers 2017 Report Card, U.S. infrastructure has a cumulative grade of “D+” and needs trillions of dollars of investment by 2025. Similarly, our tax system has not been updated for three decades and now hinders U.S. companies from maintaining an international competitive edge. America’s workers deserve better.
We agree with your call to make a major investment of at least $1 trillion in infrastructure. Additionally, we believe this should be coupled with reforming our tax code in a fiscally responsible manner. We encourage you to work toward a plan that includes a significant investment in infrastructure, including direct federal spending that is paid for in part by a deemed repatriation in comprehensive tax reform. Members of the New Democrat Coalition have led efforts along this line that have gained significant bipartisan support. Combining these efforts would be a win-win for American workers and our economy. Specifically, this investment should provide a combination of direct funding and innovative financing that addresses rural and main street infrastructure needs by prioritizing the repair and upgrading of outdated infrastructure, while also supporting major projects using private sector innovation where appropriate.
We believe that in order to accomplish these important goals, we must be willing to set aside partisanship and prioritize the needs of the country. We look forward to learning more about how we can work together to revitalize our nation’s infrastructure and provide the necessary foundation for robust growth and new jobs.