July 01, 2020

New Democrat Coalition Chair and Infrastructure Task Force Co-Chairs Statement on House Passage of H.R. 2

Today, New Democrat Coalition (NDC) Chair Derek Kilmer (WA-06) and NDC Infrastructure Task Force Co-Chairs Salud Carbajal (CA-24), Jason Crow (CO-06), Stacey Plaskett (VI-AL), and Elissa Slotkin (MI-08) released the following statements on House passage of H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act.

The Moving Forward Act contains several NDC-backed provisions to rebuild resilient transportation and infrastructure systems, accelerate the deployment of clean energy technologies and lower emission vehicles, expand transit oriented development and “dig once” policies, invest in affordable housing, expand innovative funding programs including vehicle miles traveled (VMT) fees, and expand and reinstate various public-private financing mechanisms. The bill invests over $1.5 trillion in transportation infrastructure, schools, housing, broadband access, green energy, water infrastructure, and modernizing our Postal Service.

“America can’t compete in a 21st century economy with 19th and 20th century infrastructure.  The Moving Forward Act is an important step to begin modernizing our roads, bridges and water systems, investing in schools, and bridging the digital divide.  The New Democrat Coalition is pleased the package contains several Coalition-backed provisions,” said NDC Chair Derek Kilmer. “There’s still more work to do.  To ensure our nation remains competitive, the NDC will continue to push for sustainable funding, innovative financing mechanisms like a national infrastructure bank, responsible public private partnerships, and smart regulatory reforms to help address our nation’s growing infrastructure needs.”

“Local governments are cash-strapped fighting COVID-19 and facing historic unemployment numbers. The Moving Forward Act puts money directly in the coffers of local governments, so we can finally repair dilapidated infrastructure and ensure new projects are more resilient to the effects of climate change,” said NDC Infrastructure Task Force Co-Chair Salud Carbajal. “This massive investment will help revitalize our roads, bridges, and public transit systems and create job opportunities for Americans to get back to work, so we come out of the current pandemic stronger than ever. Congress can also further this investment by creating a national infrastructure bank that leverages private dollars alongside public funds, so local governments have another tool to fund critical infrastructure projects.”

“In Colorado, we’ve seen firsthand how our infrastructure has failed to keep up with our rapid growth and the strains that puts on our community. The Moving Forward Act is a bold solution to our country’s infrastructure needs and will help ensure we are investing in equitable public transportation access, clean energy, the electrical grid, water infrastructure, and affordable housing while promoting job growth across sectors,” said NDC Infrastructure Task Force Co-Chair Jason Crow. “This is just the first step though and I look forward to working with the Infrastructure Task Force to push forward efforts to modernize our nation’s infrastructure to meet the needs of tomorrow.”

“The people of my district still feel the aftermath of consecutive category 5 hurricanes every day, on top of the “new normal” of life in the midst of a global pandemic.  The Virgin Islands knows firsthand that there are areas at every reach of this country that are in desperate need of revitalizing infrastructure,” said NDC Infrastructure Task Force Co-Chair Stacey Plaskett. “The Moving Forward Act would make a sound investment in American infrastructure of all kinds, including in underserved areas like U.S. territories.  With so much uncertainty in the economy, the Moving Forward Act would provide the American people with the certainty they need to count on stable and strong investment in infrastructure to support the movement of people, goods, and information that is critical to sustain and create jobs in our communities, and maintain America’s economic competitiveness.”

“No matter where you stand politically, the state of our crumbling infrastructure is something that people, and certainly all Michiganders, agree on,” said NDC Infrastructure Task Force Co-Chair Elissa Slotkin. “The disastrous breaching of two major dams in my state last month is all you need to know; it’s a cautionary tale for everyone. We are in need of generational investment in our infrastructure and this bill includes many of the priorities we need as part of that investment in Michigan, including major money for high-speed broadband for all Americans, significant funds for upgrades to our schools and 40 billion dollars for clean water investment projects including PFAS treatment.”

The bill:

  • Rebuilds our highways, bridges, transit, rail, airports, ports and harbors by investing to improve safety and resilience, reduce gridlock, tackle transportation sector emissions, expand equitable public transit access and options, and create millions of quality jobs.
  • Promotes investments in our communities by spurring private investment through the tax code, through a revitalized Build America Bonds program, expansions of Private Activity Bonds, and significant enhancements to the New Markets Tax Credit and the Rehabilitation Tax Credit.
  • Encourages communities to embrace innovative solutions through expanded pilot programs for vehicle miles traveled (VMT) fees and transit-oriented development.
  • Expands affordable high-speed Internet to underserved communities with investments that promote competition, connect children to remote learning, close broadband adoption and digital skills gaps and improve affordability.
  • Invests in additional community-based infrastructure projects through significant and critical investments in schools, clean energy, affordable housing, health care and hospitals, safe drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, and the postal service.  

More information can be found in the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee fact sheet or the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee section-by-section of the bill.

The NDC has long advocated for Congress and the administration to pursue a sweeping infrastructure package. Last year, the NDC sent a letter urging President Trump to prioritize a bipartisan infrastructure package and met with the administration and other stakeholders to discuss areas of agreement Last Congress, the NDC released Four Pillars for an Infrastructure Deal, which built on the Fund It, Fix It, Foster It Infrastructure Priorities. The Moving Forward Act advances the NDC’s 20 for 2020 Policy Agenda priorities to Modernize America’s Infrastructure, Fund and Finance Infrastructure, Transition to a Climate-Forward Economy, and Promote Affordable Housing.