Politicians at the national and state level have talked about modernizing the U.S. infrastructure system. Political differences and not wanting the other side to score points has prevented this much needed investment from moving forward. Labor groups are pushing forward to make it happen.
Americans for Transportation Mobility Executive Director Ed Mortimer discussed what the ATM has been doing to encourage infrastructure investment, the funding of infrastructure and how Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg will be an ally in the Biden administration on America’s Work Force Union Podcast.
Americans for Transportation Mobility: Working for new infrastructure
Mortimer said the ATM has been advocating for a new infrastructure plan for 20 years.
With infrastructure in the U.S. receiving poor marks, Mortimer believes the time is coming when we will invest in infrastructure. He added that it was difficult to get national politicians to take the problem seriously, but soon it will become unavoidable.
He said Congress needs to work together on an infrastructure bill instead of playing politics. The bill would receive bipartisan support, as it is a widely popular issue in both major parties.
Mortimer added that the ATM would like to see an infrastructure bill passed because it would create jobs. In a time where a global pandemic has taken many jobs that will not return, an infrastructure bill would create good-paying, union jobs.
Funding an infrastructure bill
One of the main roadblocks to passing an infrastructure bill is the cost, which is massive. However, it is being invested back into the U.S. and creating jobs, something Mortimer says is positive.
He explained that raising the gas tax would be an efficient way to fund a new bill. However, he said much more could come from an increase in the federal fuel tax. Additionally, there will need to be a millage tax for those using the roads with electric and hybrid vehicles, who would avoid a gas tax.
Labor allies in Washington
Finally, Mortimer said the time to get this bill done is now. There are labor community allies at every level of the federal government and within the Biden administration.
He ended by explaining how Transportation Secretary Buttigieg has the power to convince others that now is the right time for an infrastructure bill and encouraged him to do so.