You may find this hard to believe, but there are members of Congress who really do want to solve problems – and in bipartisan fashion. Kind of reminds you of the good ol’ days, right?
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 – entitled “Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure” – was officially endorsed by the 58-member bipartisan caucus, which is equally divided between Democrats and Republicans, and 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.”
I applaud them too. It’s time to be done with turf wars and egotistical drama displays. It is way past time to get on with the nation’s business.
Among their solutions-based ideas is the notion that Congress needs to fulfill its duty to provide stable long-term sustainable funding for infrastructure; preserve and expand tax-advantaged infrastructure financing options by maintaining the federal tax-exempt status for municipal bonds and private activity bonds as well as increasing the private activity bond state volume cap for all infrastructure categories; incentivize states to adopt Public-Private Partnership – and increase gas taxes.
Much of what they propose is in-the-trenches blocking and tackling. It’s not sexy to talk about but it is the key to getting the ball across the goal line.
I applaud the Problem Solvers Caucus. Let’s hope their brand of pragmatic leadership rises to the surface and results in an infrastructure package we can all be proud of.
Mark S. Kuhar, editor