The House Problem Solvers Caucus released a new report of bipartisan policy recommendations to build a strong, successful 21st century infrastructure network for America.
The report was officially endorsed by the 58-member bipartisan caucus – equally divided between Democrats and Republicans, led by Co-Chairs Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) To receive an endorsement, 75% of the members must support it.
“The National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association has long supported an across the board approach to infrastructure investment,” said Michele Stanley, vice president of Government & Regulatory Affairs. “Our nation’s infrastructure has been neglected for more than a generation, and our standing in the world economy depends on a common sense, bipartisan, multi-year solution to reauthorize surface transportation infrastructure, which also requires making solvent the Highway Trust Fund. We applaud the Problem Solvers Caucus for their commitment to find a solution to the infrastructure crisis.”
The Caucus’s Infrastructure Working Group, led by Co-Chairs Connor Lamb (D-Pa.) and John Katko (R-N.Y.), developed the report using a consensus-driven approach, considering the collective ideas and knowledge of all 58 members, as well as a significant number of industry and governmental stakeholders.
The report puts forward a set of policies to serve as a bipartisan framework for addressing the dire need to rebuild and responsibly invest in infrastructure across the nation. It details bipartisan policy solutions that will improve the country’s highways, roads and bridges, transit and railways, ports and airports, water and sewer systems, energy systems and the power grid, and broadband and communications networks.
The group of 58 lawmakers proposes indexing gas and diesel taxes to inflation, highway construction costs, fuel-economy standards, or some combination of the three. The report lays out several possible fee increases, including a vehicle-miles traveled tax that would collect revenue from electric vehicles. Congress hasn’t raised the gas tax, which stands at 18.4 cents-per-gallon, since 1993.
The release of the report is another step in the Problem Solvers Caucus’s efforts to help advance bipartisan infrastructure discussions. Earlier this month, the Caucus penned a letter to President Biden, Secretary Buttigieg, Speaker Pelosi, and Leaders Schumer, McCarthy, and McConnell calling on them to promote a bipartisan path forward on infrastructure for America.
“The time is now for Congress and the Administration to reach across the aisle, unite, and boost investments in our surface transportation network that will move our transportation systems into the 21st century,” said Fitzpatrick. “It is vitally important that we build a bridge and put together bipartisan legislation that is both responsive to local needs and worthy of the public’s trust. Infrastructure investment can and will deliver real benefits to every American and additionally, has the unique power to unite us as a nation. I feel confident and look forward to working alongside my Problem Solvers colleagues to put together a strong, successful, bipartisan infrastructure package this Congress. Investing in our roads, rails, bridges, IT infrastructure, and electrical grid is an investment in our nation, our economy and our families.”
“We cannot afford four more years of crumbling bridges, roads, and tunnels, lead-filled pipes, and failed transportation, which is why the Problem Solvers Caucus is putting partisanship aside to find a solution that brings both parties to the table,” said Gottheimer. “Our new report provides a bipartisan foundation to actually solve the infrastructure issues facing both my home district in North Jersey and our nation, like finally investing in the Gateway Tunnel. We’re ready to work with our partners in the Senate and with the Administration to get a bipartisan infrastructure package done.”
“With this report, we did what the American people always ask of us: we worked together, across the aisle, to move forward on investments that will make America stronger, safer, and more competitive,” said Lamb.
“With the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, I’m proud to unveil our report on Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure in the 117th Congress. This report, which I helped author as co-chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus’s Infrastructure Working Group, includes a bipartisan set of policies that serve to modernize our nation’s infrastructure across a wide range of sectors. Infrastructure has been among my top priorities since coming to Congress and why I sought to serve on the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. I’m glad this issue is getting the bipartisan attention it so badly deserves in Congress and I believe this plan can serve as a blueprint for producing a compromise infrastructure package that meets the needs of communities across the nation,” said Katko.
Neil Bradley, U.S. Chamber of Commerce executive vice president and chief policy officer, released the following statement following the release of the Problem Solvers Caucus proposal:
“We applaud the 58 Republican and Democratic members of the Problem Solvers Caucus for putting forward a bipartisan proposal to address our nation’s critical infrastructure needs. This is exactly the type of leadership we want to see from our nation’s elected officials. Finding agreement on funding for infrastructure investment is going to take compromise from both sides, and today’s bipartisan proposal is another step in the right direction. We are especially pleased that the proposal reflects the historic bipartisan consensus to fund our infrastructure largely through user-based fees. Adjusting the fee now and indexing the tax for inflation would raise billions of dollars for investment in our transportation systems. We encourage more of these discussions from Congress and the administration and look forward to continuing to work with members from both parties in the House and Senate to ensure an infrastructure bill is passed this summer.”