The following is a statement by Tom Smith, Executive Director, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE):
WASHINGTON, DC. - The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) is encouraged that infrastructure remains at the top of the priority list as part of President Biden's first joint address to Congress. Infrastructure is the backbone of the American economy and key to healthy, prosperous, and resilient communities. The priorities laid out in tonight's address and detailed in President Biden's proposed American Jobs Plan, in addition to the GOP's recently proposed infrastructure framework, indicates that the Biden administration and members of Congress are ready to work together on much-needed bipartisan infrastructure legislation to jumpstart our nation's economic recovery.
ASCE's 2021 Report Card for America's Infrastructure found the nation earned a 'C-', up from 2017's cumulative GPA of 'D+'. However, progress has been incremental and 11 of the 17 categories received scores in the "D" range, demonstrating that much work needs to be done to modernize the overall infrastructure network and position our nation for the future. In 2021 alone, we have seen power outages displace Texans and drinking water infrastructure fail Mississippians. America is in dire need of a bipartisan solution to these issues.
We are at a critical moment in time, and have before us a historic opportunity for bipartisan legislation that can modernize our surface transportation network, safeguard drinking water systems, repair high-hazard dams, connect the grid to renewables, and prepare communities to be more resilient in the face of a rapidly changing climate.
With momentum building towards significant, impactful infrastructure legislation, ASCE believes it is paramount that the Biden administration and members of Congress continue to advance the infrastructure components of an economic recovery package until a bill is finalized. Congress must not miss the opportunity to deliver on legislation that could generate jobs, keep Americans safe, and guide the nation towards economic recovery.
About the American Society Of Civil Engineers
Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers represents more than 150,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America's oldest national engineering society. ASCE works to raise awareness of the need to maintain and modernize the nation's infrastructure using sustainable and resilient practices, advocates for increasing and optimizing investment in infrastructure, and improve engineering knowledge and competency. For more information, visit www.asce.org or www.infrastructurereportcard.org and follow us on Twitter, @ASCETweets and @ASCEGovRel.