Infrastructure Week 2014 is led by the U.S. Council on Competitiveness, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the AFL-CIO, the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program,Building America’s Future, 1776, the Organization for International Investment, the Value of Water Coalition, and the National Association of Manufacturers. These groups bring unique and powerful perspectives to the ongoing dialogue about the deteriorating condition of our nation’s infrastructure.
In collaboration with dozens of other affiliate organizations, they are presenting a number of public events around the United States.
For more: http://www.infrastructureweek2014.com
Together, we can GROW AMERICA
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 dot.gov
Earlier this year in St. Paul, Minnesota, President Obama and I promised to present Congress with a multi-year surface transportation reauthorization proposal, and with the unveiling of the GROW AMERICA Act today, we have fulfilled that promise.
The GROW AMERICA Act, or Generating Renewal, Opportunity, and Work with Accelerated Mobility, Efficiency, and Rebuilding of Infrastructure and Communities throughout America, will do exactly what its name implies:
- It will support millions of American jobs repairing and modernizing our roads, bridges, railways, and transit systems;
- It will help ensure that American businesses can compete effectively in the global economy and grow; and
- It will pave the way forward by increasing access to the ladders of opportunity that help Americans get ahead.
I visited eight states and 13 cities as part of my Invest in America, Commit to the Future bus tour this month and everywhere I went, I heard the same thing –people want more transportation options and better roads and bridges to get them where they need to go. Failing to act before the Highway Trust Fund runs out is unacceptable and unaffordable.
GROW AMERICA offers the kind of job creation and certainty that the American people want and deserve. It represents a number of proposals that have historically attracted bipartisan support.
What GROW AMERICA will do
- Address the shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund and provide $87 billion to address the nation’s backlog of deficient bridges and aging transit systems;
- Create millions of new jobs to ensure America’s future competitiveness;
- Increase safety across all modes of surface transportation, including increasing the civil penalties the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) can levy against automakers who fail to act quickly on vehicle recalls;
- Provide certainty to state and local governments that must engage in long-term planning;
- Reduce project approval and permitting timelines while delivering better outcomes for communities and the environment;
- Bolster efficient and reliable freight networks to support trade and economic growth; and
- Create incentives to better align planning and investment decisions to comprehensively address regional economic needs while strengthening local decision-making.
I have been pleased to see that members of both parties are already working together to solve these challenges, and I look forward to continuing our discussion and to supporting and building on the good work that’s already been done.
Please take the time to browse through our GROW AMERICA Fact Sheets to learn what this bill will do to keep our nation and our economy moving forward.
President Obama Lays Out Vision for 21st Century Transportation Infrastructure
President Obama announced that the Department of Transportation is making available $600 million in Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants, a tremendously successful program investing in our nation’s infrastructure. These new grants mark the sixth round of the TIGER program, which has already invested $3.5 billion in 270 transportation projects across the country.
The President explained that “one of the fastest and best ways to create good jobs is by rebuilding America’s infrastructure — our roads, our bridges, our rails, our ports, our airports, our schools, our power grids. We’ve got a lot of work to do out there, and we’ve got to put folks to work.”
He added that we need to invest in our infrastructure to keep up with other countries that are trying to out-build us, in order to make sure that America remains attractive to businesses:
As a percentage of GDP, countries like China, Germany, they’re spending about twice what we’re spending in order to build infrastructure — because they know that if they have the fastest trains on the planet or the highest-rated airports or the busiest, most efficient ports that businesses will go there.
But we don’t want businesses to go there. We want them to come here to Minnesota. We want them to come here to the United States of America. And that means the best airports and the best roads and the best trains should be right here in America.
President Obama then outlined his vision for a more comprehensive, long-term plan to create jobs while repairing our transportation infrastructure — investing a total of $302 billion over four years:
[N]ext week, I’m going to send Congress a budget that funds rebuilding our transportation infrastructure in a more responsible way — by doing it over four years, which gives cities and states and private investors the certainty they need to plan major projects. Projects like repairing essential highways and bridges; building new transit systems in fast-growing cities and communities, so folks who live there can get to work and school every day and spend less time sitting in traffic. And we’re going to have to construct smarter, more resilient transportation systems that can withstand the worst impacts of climate change, like bigger surges of water that we’ve seen in recent floods.
So, all told, my transportation budget will support millions of jobs nationwide. And we’ll pay for these investments in part by simplifying the tax code. We’re going to close wasteful tax loopholes, lower tax rates for businesses that create jobs here at home, stop rewarding companies for sending jobs to other countries, use the money we save in this transition to create good jobs with good wages rebuilding America. It makes sense.
- FACT SHEET: President Obama Lays Out Vision for 21st Century Transportation Infrastructure
- FACT SHEET – Building a 21st Century Infrastructure: Modernizing Infrastructure Permitting
- Bipartisan Group Introduces The Building and Renewing Infrastructure for Development and Growth in Employment Act, or BRIDGE Act
Yes, we did: the 5-Year Anniversary of the Recovery Act
2/18/14 Posted by Anthony Foxx
On February 17, 2009–five years ago–President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. In office less than a month, he took a huge step forward in leading this nation out of its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. At the U.S. Department of Transportation, we knew the important role transportation could play in getting the economy back on its feet and when given the opportunity to help through Recovery Act funds, we said, “Yes, we can.”
Five years later, DOT is proud to say, “Yes, we did.”
By the first Recovery Act anniversary, we had created tens of thousands of jobs related to construction work across the country – all of which meant paychecks to American workers who could pay their rent or mortgages and feed their families. We improved more than 24,000 miles of highway and 1,100 bridges, tackled more than 700 transit projects, expanded options for bicyclists and pedestrians, reduced congestion and its associated pollutants, and upgraded runways and airports.
By September 30, 2010, we had awarded over $48 billion to more than 14,600 needed highway, road, transit, bridge, and airport projects across America. In fact, we were able to stretch our portion of Recovery Act funding to include additional projects because earlier projects were bid below previous estimates.
When all of the work is completed–that’s right, the Recovery Act continues to support good jobs on good projects–we will have:
* Improved nearly 42,000 miles of American road;
* Repaired or replaced more than 2,700 bridges;
* Helped transit agencies purchase more than 12,220 transit vehicles;
* Upgraded or constructed more than 6,000 miles of better performing rail;
* Purchased 120 next-generation rail cars and locomotives; and
* Increased safety and convenience with more than 360 airport and runway projects.
The projects we have supported are much more than abstract milestones. Each one represents good jobs. Each one represents a community benefiting from economic activity stimulated by construction and renovation. Each one represents greater safety. And each one represents improved infrastructure that makes getting from point A to point B easier for people and for the freight that fuels our economy.
Obama sends Congress $302B transportation bill
04/29/14 By Keith Laing – TheHill
President Obama on Tuesday sent Congress a legislative proposal for $302 billion in federal transportation funding in a bid to spur a broader debate about how best to pay for the nation’s infrastructure.
Obama’s plan has virtually no chance of being enacted, because it relies heavily on revenue from a corporate tax reform proposal that is strongly opposed by Republicans.
But Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the new legislation, which the administration has dubbed the “Grow America Act,” could jumpstart a conversation about how to avoid the looming bankruptcy in the trust fund that pays for transportation projects. The fund could run dry as early as August.
“Failing to act before the Highway Trust Fund runs out is unacceptable — and unaffordable,” Foxx said in a statement. “This proposal offers the kind of job creation and certainty that the American people want and deserve.”
The president’s proposal calls for a four-year extension of funding for federal road and transit funding before it expires in September.
The plan would authorize $75.5 billion in annual spending, which would be a $20 billion increase over current yearly funding levels. It would also close the $66 billion shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund.
UPDATE: 8/8/14 President Obama signed [H.R.5021 – Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014] a $10.8 billion measure that will fund highway and bridge repairs for the next ten months.