Working to find actionable solutions to the nation's key challenges.

Political Leaders Call on Presidential Candidates to Prioritize Infrastructure

By Jake Varn

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The political leaders and advisors of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Executive Council on Infrastructure have penned a letter to the presidential campaigns urging them to focus on modernizing America’s Infrastructure.

Signed by a bipartisan group of former elected officials—Gov. Haley Barbour, Rep. Steve Bartlett, Rep. Eric Cantor, Sec. Henry Cisneros, and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa—the letter states that, “America’s degrading infrastructure undermines our economic competitiveness and quality of life… With the fundamental importance that infrastructure has for our health, safety, economic mobility and more, we urge you to make modernizing America’s infrastructure a central feature of your campaigns, and, if elected, a priority within your first 100 days of office.”

The council recently released a report, Bridging the Gap Together: A New Model to Modernize U.S. Infrastructure, that outlines how a New American Model for Investing in Infrastructure could produce faster, higher quality projects. The New American Model is designed to achieve tangible results through concrete actions that will increase transparency, simplicity, and collaboration and create a welcoming environment for private capital in U.S. infrastructure. The letter urges the candidates to embrace proposals that encourage the public and private sectors to partner to make a transformative impact on our nation’s infrastructure.

The letter notes that “even in this difficult [campaign] environment, infrastructure stands out as one of the few issues on which both parties can agree. Leading off the next administration with a proposal that incorporates the principles of the New American Model for Investing in Infrastructure could be the foundation of a collaborative agenda that set the stage for success. It is also one of the most effective things you could do to strengthen America’s economy.”

KEYWORDS: ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA, ERIC CANTOR, EXECUTIVE COUNCIL ON INFRASTRUCTURE, HALEY BARBOUR, HENRY CISNEROS, STEVE BARTLETT