Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday introduced legislation to rebuild America’s crumbling network of roads, bridges, transit systems and other infrastructure projects. The five-year plan would invest $1 trillion in the effort and create or maintain at least 13 million decent-paying jobs, according to Sanders, the Senate Budget Committee ranking member.
The legislation is cosponsored by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), the appropriations committee ranking member, and is supported by the American Society of Civil Engineers, the AFL-CIO and many others.
“For too many years, we’ve underfunded our nation’s physical infrastructure. We have to change that and that’s what the Rebuild America Act is all about. We must modernize our infrastructure and create millions of new jobs that will put people back to work and help the economy,” Sanders said.
“My legislation puts 13 million people to work repairing the backlog of infrastructure projects all across this country. These projects require equipment, supplies and services, and the hard-earned salaries from these jobs will be spent in countless restaurants, shops and other local businesses. It’s no surprise that groups across the political spectrum – from organized labor to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – agree that investing in infrastructure will pay dividends for future generations.”
Sanders’ bill makes targeted investments in roads, bridges, transit, passenger and freight rail, water infrastructure, marine ports and inland waterways, national parks, broadband and the electric grid. A short summary of the bill can be found here and the text of the bill itself is here.
“By making smart federal investments in our nation’s infrastructure, we can create jobs and opportunities today, while strengthening our economy for tomorrow. I’m proud to cosponsor the Rebuild America Act,” Mikulski said.
Tom Trotter, legislative representative for the AFL-CIO, said Sanders proposal will “raise the profile about the serious needs of our nation’s infrastructure. This proposal provides a stark blueprint of what needs to be accomplished and provides an opportunity to create millions of new jobs.”
Casey Dinges, senior managing director at the society of engineers, said: “Senator Sanders’ initiative to invest $1 trillion over five years through his Rebuild America Act will have a far-reaching impact on restoring and modernizing our nation’s aging infrastructure.”
And former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a leader of the Building America’s Future initiative, said: “America’s infrastructure is falling apart. It is time to get serious about modernizing our infrastructure as the consequences of further inaction are unconscionable.”