The following is a statement by Tom Smith, Executive Director, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE):
WASHINGTON, DC. – As President Biden reminded us today, the time to act on our nation’s infrastructure is now. ASCE applauds the President for making infrastructure investment a central pillar of his Administration’s agenda, and we are encouraged to see the President’s deep understanding that American families and businesses are negatively impacted every day by our aging transit systems, bridges, water pipes, and electric grid. Unfortunately, the House of Representatives continues to delay action on historic infrastructure investments, putting at risk a bipartisan bill that was carefully crafted and agreed to months ago by President Biden and Congressional negotiators on both sides of the aisle.
American families and businesses are paying the price while the House continues to play politics and the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) sits on the sidelines. Delaying this bipartisan bill yet again, this time until December, will have profound impacts. Repeated month-long extensions of the federal funding programs for transit, roads and bridges mean that cities and states cannot move forward with critical transportation projects that connect people to jobs, improve public safety, and make our communities more resilient.
The IIJA is a comprehensive bill that will make American communities more climate resilient through the allocation of billions of dollars for infrastructure resilience priorities across all sectors, as well as significant funding that will bring relief to neighborhoods that frequently suffer from disruptive power outages, aging bridges, a lack of broadband access, and leaking water pipes.
We are still reviewing the details of the Build Back Better Act released today and pleased to see additional investments in transportation, resilience, and water system upgrades. However, the IIJA is ready to be voted on now and further delay at this time is not only unwarranted, but threatens the American economy, global competitiveness, and public safety. American voters support passing this bill and are ready for elected leaders to govern. After decades of kicking the can down the road on meaningful infrastructure legislation, Congress cannot miss another opportunity to start investing in American communities. ASCE urges a vote on IIJA as quickly as possible.
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.