Dec. 30, 2019—On December 16, the state of Pennsylvania became the most recent state to put a Memorial in support of Congress establishing a National Infrastructure Bank on its agenda. On that day, Democratic Representative Ed Neilson (Philadelphia County) introduced HR 636, A Resolution Urging the Congress of the United States to establish a national infrastructure bank, into the state House of Representatives; it was referred the same day to the Committee on Commerce.
HR 636 is bipartisan: it has 38 cosponsors, several of whom are Republicans.
The basic idea behind an effective National Infrastructure Bank follows the credit concepts of Alexander Hamilton. The progress of the nationwide campaign for such a bank can be found in various posts on this blog.
The full text of HR 636 follows:
Urging the Congress of the United States to establish a national infrastructure bank.
WHEREAS, Our nation and our State are in the midst of an infrastructure crisis that is exacerbated by a substantial shortfall in infrastructure spending; and
WHEREAS, The 2017 Infrastructure Report Card from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave the United States a cumulative grade of “D+” across 16 categories and estimated that the nation needs a $4.59 trillion investment in infrastructure by 2025 just to bring this grade up to a “B”; and
WHEREAS, ASCE found that continuing on this trajectory and failing to invest in improvements by 2025 will have serious economic consequences, including $3.9 trillion in losses to the national gross domestic product and job losses of more than 2.5 million; and
WHEREAS, The infrastructure crisis in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania mirrors that of the country at large; and
WHEREAS, ASCE’s 2018 Infrastructure Report Card gave our State a cumulative grade of “C-” across 18 categories, including a “D+” for roads, a “D” for drinking water and a “D-” for wastewater treatment; and
WHEREAS, ASCE noted that traffic congestion results in more than $3.7 billion annually in lost time and wasted fuel, while deficient roadway conditions cost the average Pennsylvania motorist more than $500 in operating and maintenance outlays; and
WHEREAS, ASCE further noted that our State’s aging drinking water infrastructure poses increased public health risks and will require an additional $10.2 billion in funding over the next decade; and
WHEREAS, It is past time that the Federal Government develop a collaborative solution to these infrastructure problems through the establishment of a national infrastructure bank; and
WHEREAS, A national bank is not a new idea, having been successfully implemented first by President George Washington and Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton and later by Presidents John Quincy Adams, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt; and
WHEREAS, Previous national infrastructure banks established by Congress were instrumental in financing the roads, bridges, canals, roadways, schools, hospitals and power systems that made our country the envy of the world; and
WHEREAS, A national infrastructure bank that partners with state and local governments can supply the needed financing to bring infrastructure to a state of good repair; and
WHEREAS, This investment would restart various industries in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, creating millions of new high-paying jobs; and
WHEREAS, The National Congress of Black Women, Democratic Municipal Officials, National Latino Farmers and Ranchers Trade Association, National Federation of Federal Employees and numerous other organizations have endorsed the establishment of a national infrastructure bank; and
WHEREAS, Various state and local governments have passed resolutions supporting the establishment of a national infrastructure bank; therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania urge the Congress of the United States to establish a national infrastructure bank; and be it further
RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States, the presiding officers of each house of Congress and each member of Congress from Pennsylvania.