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Higgins calls on Congress to go beyond DOT highway bill proposal, make large-scale investment in America's infrastructure

by jmaloni

Submitted

Thu, May 1st 2014 10:45 am

Congress Brian Higgins, D-NY-26, spoke on the House Floor urging Congress to make a bold investment in this nation's infrastructure.

The U.S. Department of Transportation unveiled a proposal to spend $302 billion over the next four years on highway and transportation projects. While this represents an increase from current infrastructure spending, it still remains far below the $3.6 trillion the American Society of Civil Engineers estimates is needed to restore U.S. infrastructure to good repair by 2020.

The text of Higgins' remarks is below:

"Mr. Speaker,

"Yesterday, the United States Department of Transportation revealed a proposal to spend $302 billion over the next four years on highway and transportation projects in our nation.

"Though this is an improvement on the current pathetically weak investment in roads and bridges, this is still not nearly enough to adequately address America's broken infrastructure.

"Mr. Speaker, the American Society of Civil Engineers gives the United States' infrastructure a D grade and predicts that an additional $3.6 trillion investment will be needed by 2020 just to bring America's infrastructure to a state of good repair.

"Making a real investment, going beyond the president's proposal, is not only an investment in our nation, but is also an important investment in our nation's people. Nation-building right here at home can't be outsourced and could create millions of jobs and drastically lower the unemployment rate.

"I urge my colleagues to support large-scale investment in America, supporting American people and American businesses."

The ASCE's latest report card gives U.S. infrastructure a D grade. The World Economic Forum rates the U.S. as 24th in infrastructure quality. Experts estimate there are 99 structurally deficient bridges in Western New York - every second, seven cars cross one of these bridges.

Higgins is an outspoken supporter of infrastructure investments. In 2012, he introducedH.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.

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