Business groups and state and local governments cite urgent need for federal infrastructure funding. It’s time for Congress to act.

The calls for federal infrastructure funding are remarkably consistent. 

The National Association of Manufacturers writes,

Updating our nation’s infrastructure has long been an issue that has brought together lawmakers from both sides of the aisle. The president’s State of the Union address this week recharged the need for an infrastructure package, and it was declared an imperative for this Congress. Democrats and Republicans must work together to pass a 21st-century infrastructure proposal that will build a better future our nation—expanding our economy, growing jobs and allowing the U.S. to more effectively compete globally.
The Infrastructure Working Group, led by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the Associated General Contractors (AGC), united 150 manufacturing, construction, agriculture and finance trade associations, labor unions and local government groups to urge congressional leadership to work together to develop and advance an infrastructure investment package that will improve the safety, reliability and efficiency of our nation’s infrastructure.

… industry experts and their allies in Congress hope infrastructure is one area where Democrats, who now control the House, and Republicans, who control the Senate, can find common ground in the new Congress.

President Donald Trump made a similar point during his State of the Union address on Tuesday.

“Both parties should be able to unite for a great rebuilding of America’s crumbling infrastructure,” Trump said. “I know that the Congress is eager to pass an infrastructure bill, and I am eager to work with you on legislation to deliver new and important infrastructure investment, including investments in the cutting-edge industries of the future. This is not an option. This is a necessity.”

The National League of Cities says,

In 2019, NLC’s top legislative priority is rebuilding and reimagining America’s infrastructure.

From the National Association of Counties:

NACo Executive Director Matt Chase, in NACo’s official response to the annual address, echoed the president’s remarks. “One of the greatest opportunities for bipartisan action at the federal level is reinvesting in America’s infrastructure,” he said. “For counties of all sizes — rural, urban and suburban — infrastructure is at the top of our priority list. This includes advanced broadband, water infrastructure and workforce housing.”

And, from the National Association of Governors:

Governors look forward to working with Congress as it develops legislation that enhances our current infrastructure programs, provides states flexibility for augmenting investment with innovative financing tools, streamlines the federal review process in a way that maintains necessary environmental protections and embraces innovative practices and forward-looking technologies.
“We are encouraged that the Administration and Congress are focusing on the nation’s infrastructure needs,” [NGA CEO and Executive Director Scott] Pattison said. “Governors have been leading the way in terms of innovative strategies to address state-level infrastructure needs and the federal government equally needs to prioritize modernization and investing in the future. Modern and well-maintained infrastructure is vital to the economy, public safety and quality of life, and achieving this goal requires the full collaboration of federal, state and local governments.”
NGA has made infrastructure a top priority for the 116th Congress
We’ll highlight the private sector recommendations made in a letter sent by the Infrastructure Working Group. 
  • Significantly increase direct federal investments in a broad range of infrastructure sectors
  • Fix chronic challenges and address reoccurring shortages in key federal infrastructure accounts, such as the Highway Trust Fund
  • Complement and strengthen existing tools, such as municipal bonds, that successfully deliver infrastructure investments at the federal, state and local levels
  • Facilitate opportunities for private investment in U.S. infrastructure
  • Create efficiencies such as accelerating the federal permitting process, while continuing to provide environmental protections
  • Encourage active participation among all levels of government and between public and private sectors without shifting federal responsibilities because no single partner can deliver a well-functioning, national U.S. infrastructure network driven by a long-term vision and funding stability

Sensible recommendations. It’s time for Congress to act.