Higgins comments on importance of strong federal commitment to infrastructure investmentby jmaloni
President Barack Obama is scheduled to give remarks on infrastructure at the Tappan Zee Bridge. Congressman Brian Higgins released the following statement in response:
"Today, President Obama will visit New York's own Tappan Zee Bridge for a discussion about America's broken infrastructure. The reality is, though, that this is just one of 69,000 bridges in need of attention in our nation. There are 99 structurally deficient bridges in Western New York alone.
"I commend President Obama for recognizing the critical need to invest in our nation's infrastructure and proposing efforts to cut through red tape to get projects under construction more swiftly. This year, the Department of Transportation proposed to spend $302 billion over the next four years on road and transit projects. Though this represents an increase in the funding devoted to these projects, it is still an inadequate investment. Rhetoric in support of infrastructure and economic development must be met with action in the administration and in Congress.
"The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that $3.6 trillion is needed to restore our nation's infrastructure to good repair by 2020, so I urge the president and the Congress to pursue action that is bolder than to modestly increase our currently inadequate spending.
"Nation building right here at home can't be outsourced and could create millions of jobs and drastically lower the unemployment rate. Let's heed the president's call to action and take it further and make a real, tangible commitment to restoring our infrastructure and putting Americans back to work."
The American Society of Civil Engineers gives U.S. 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.
The World Economic Forum rates the U.S. as 24th in infrastructure quality.
In 2012, Higgins 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.