Washington, D.C. –Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO-07) and 45 members of the New Democrat Coalition (New Dems) sent a letter to President Trump encouraging him to focus on tax reform and fixing our nation’s infrastructure. 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has relied on irresponsible, stop-gap measures that hinder economic growth and make it more difficult to revitalize our outdated infrastructure and overly-complicated tax code.
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) rated our the U.S.’s infrastructure at a D+, facing a $2 trillion 10-year gap in infrastructure investment. The price of failing to build, maintain, and repair our infrastructure is costing American families $3,400 dollars each year in disposable income and will jeopardize 2.5 million jobs between now and 2025.
“At the start of the new Congress, I said I would look for ways to work with the President and the Republican majority on issues where we could find common ground including infrastructure, creating good-paying jobs and growing our economy. During the campaign, the President promised to help hardworking Americans by focusing on these issues, but more than 100 days in to his presidency, President Trump has focused on anything but these issues,” said Perlmutter. “Infrastructure connects us and our communities, and it's imperative we keep up with our needs to promote commerce, create jobs and improve the quality of life.”
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 text of the letter can be found below.
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.