The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the latest influential organization to declare that America’s infrastructure has fallen so far behind that it is holding our economy back.

As the leading voice of America’s business community, the Chamber say it’s time for Washington to tackle the next big item on America’s to-do list: the large scale modernization of our infrastructure. In its ‘Roadmap to Modernizing America’s Infrastructure’, the Chamber states, “Inaction is simply not an option. We need to modernize America’s infrastructure immediately.”

During the Chamber’s Infrastructure Summit in Washington DC, president & CEO Tom Donohue laid out the Roadmap’s four-part plan to give America a 21st century infrastructure system for a 21st century economy:

  1. A modest increase in the federal fuel user fee — to pay for badly needed upgrades to our roads, bridges, and transit systems. “Increasing the fee by a total of $.25 cents (five cents a year over five years) would raise $394 billion over the next 10 years.”
  2. A multifaceted financing approach that leverages public and private resources — to upgrade our airports, seaports, waterways, rail systems, utilities, and other core infrastructure. “There are a number of innovative financing strategies that would allow us to begin building today, while paying for projects over the long term.”
  3. Streamlining the permitting process to get projects off the ground — all federal infrastructure approvals should be completed within two years. “Currently, it can take longer to get government approval for a project than it takes to construct it.”
  4. Expanding apprenticeships, workforce programs, and technical education programs — to develop a skilled workforce. Plus offering protections for skilled workers that come from programs like DACA and TPS. “Nearly 80% of construction firms report that they are having a hard time finding qualified workers.”

The Chamber reports that 68% of California voters say the federal government should invest more in our country’s roads; and 74% agree that investments in infrastructure would lead to job creation.

Southern California Partnership for Jobs agrees with California’s voters — and advocates for the need to invest continuously in our infrastructure, which provides careers to support families, the economy and the quality of life here in Southern California. SCPFJ advocated for the passage of SB1, which brought a critical new funding source to the state, investing $52.3 billion in California transportation over the next decade.

Source: U.S. Chamber of Commerce News