This afternoon, President Obama is expected to announce a four-year, $302 billion transportation proposal. The plan is supported by $150 billion in revenue earned by closing business tax loopholes, and includes $600 million in new competitive TIGER grants. The current highway transportation bill is scheduled to expire this fall.
In response, Congressman Brian Higgins, D-NY-26, released the following statement:
"Our nation, our economy and our workers have been hurt by a severe lack of investment in America's infrastructure. According to the World Economic Forum, we are 24th in infrastructure quality. In 2001, we were No. 2, with a budgetary surplus.
"The president's proposal represents a more than $20 billion annual increase in infrastructure investment - a step in the right direction, yet the need is even greater. The American Society of Civil Engineers reports that 46 percent of the roads in New York state are in poor or mediocre condition and gives the country a 'D' grade for infrastructure overall. Seven cars cross Western New York's 99 deficient bridges each and every second.
"Investing in our infrastructure has historically been a nonpartisan issue and is something we should embrace and advance as a national priority. In recent years, we've spent more rebuilding the roads and bridges of Iraq and Afghanistan than here in the U.S. The time is now for nation-building here at home."
Higgins has been a vocal advocate for infrastructure investments. In 2012, he introduced H.R. 4352, the Nation Building Here at Home Act, which calls for a five-year $1.2 trillion investment in U.S. infrastructure as a means to create jobs and boost the economy.