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      American Society of Civil Engineers Statement on House Democrats $760B Infrastructure Proposal

      January 29, 2020

      The following is a statement by Kancheepuram "Guna" N. Gunalan, PE, President, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) in response to the House Democrats 2020 infrastructure plan, Moving America Forward Framework:

      "We applaud Speaker Pelosi and the House Democratic Caucus for proposing a bold, visionary framework to address the needs of our nation's roads, bridges, transit systems, railways, water systems and more. This proposal can serve as a strong template as lawmakers develop infrastructure legislation this year.

      Americans cannot afford more of the status quo - the longer we continue to underinvest, the longer American families are forced to continue to spend at least an additional  $3,400 a year  due to leaky water pipes, deficient bridges, congested highways, outdated transit systems and an unreliable electric grid. 

      ASCE is pleased to see additional funding for the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund for operations and maintenance needs for ports, and the ability to increase the Passenger Facility Cap to modernize the nation's airports. ASCE is also encouraged to see that the proposal would boost resilience by creating a new program to protect fragile or at-risk transportation assets before they fail. However, we would also urge lawmakers to find a long-term solution to the Highway Trust Fund and ensure the federal government's role in infrastructure investment is not replaced by state, local and/or private funding in any forthcoming legislation.

      This proposal is a promising first step towards a better quality of life for all Americans, and we urge Members of Congress to work across the aisle to develop legislation to raise  America's D+ infrastructure  to a state of good repair. It's time to make infrastructure a priority, and ASCE looks forward to working with both sides to bring this vision to a reality."

      ASCE believes that a bipartisan infrastructure bill should address the following priorities :

      • Fix the Highway Trust Fund to modernize our nation's roads, bridges and transit systems.
      • Eliminate the cap on the Passenger Facility Charge to modernize our nation's airports.
      • Put trust in the Harbor Maintenance Trust fund by fully appropriating the Harbor Maintenance Tax collections each year.
      • Address resilience, sustainability, and total life-cycle cost of an asset.

      ASCE's next  Infrastructure Report Card  will be released in February 2021.

      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.

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