Following State of the Union, Torres and New Democrat Coalition Release Infrastructure Priorities for 2018
Torres spearheaded efforts to include regulatory reforms that would encourage innovation and efficiency in the nation’s infrastructure in the Coalition’s priorities
WASHINGTON, DC – Following the infrastructure proposal outlined by President Trump in his State of the Union address, Rep. Norma J. Torres (D-Pomona), co-chair of the 21st Century Infrastructure Task Force, joined with other members of the New Democrat Coalition to release a set of infrastructure priorities to increase long-term federal investments in all types of infrastructure. Torres spearheaded efforts to include the implementation of the numerous regulatory streamlining provisions passed in the 2015 FAST Act transportation bill in the Coalition’s priorities. She also called for the creation of regional partnerships between communities to accelerate project construction, and the adoption of new, innovative technologies to bolster safety and efficiency in the nation’s infrastructure system.
“I’m encouraged that the President has come forward with his infrastructure proposal, but we need a serious, viable solution that doesn’t burden our states and local governments,” said Torres. “In any infrastructure deal moving forward, we need to be innovative with how we build and ensure that our federal rules and regulations aren’t making a difficult problem worse. The 21st Century Infrastructure Task Force plan moves us in the right direction towards modernizing our nation’s crumbling infrastructure.”
Specifically, the Task Force outlined policy ideas under the following pillars:
- 1.Modernize America’s infrastructure
- 2.Create an infrastructure bank to finance projects
- 3.Create incentives for communities most in need of building and maintaining their infrastructure
- 4.Encourage innovation and reform
Investment is vital to both the jobs created to build and maintain our infrastructure, as well as those supported and bolstered by a strong and healthy infrastructure system that facilitates the efficient movement of workers, goods, services, and ideas. Any new proposal must include new revenue, new financing, new funding, regulatory streamlining, and encourage life-cycle funding in innovative infrastructure projects that are built to last.
The Task force is chaired by Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT). In addition to Torres, it is co-chaired by Reps. John Delaney (D-MD), Elizabeth Esty (D-CT), and Stacey Plaskett (D-USVI).
Torres has previously introduced legislation aimed at addressing the funding shortfall in the nation’s infrastructure spending. The Regional Infrastructure Accelerator Act would help attract outside financing through of “Regional Infrastructure Accelerators,” multi-state organizations, local and state governments. The American Infrastructure Opportunity Bonds Act would set a trigger when the interest rate on Treasury bills and bonds drops below the rate of inflation to direct the Treasury to begin borrowing and to direct that new borrowing to be spent on infrastructure investments.
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