By AMANDA GOMEZ
(TRNS) — It’s no silver bullet, but The BRIDGE Act does address the nation’s shortfall in maintaining and improving infrastructure, says lead sponsor Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA).
The BRIDGE Act, sponsored by Warner and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), would establish an independent nonpartisan financing authority to complement existing U.S. infrastructure funding. This authority in turn will provide loans and loan guarantees to help states and localities fund the most economically viable road, rail, port, water, sewer, and other significant infrastructure projects.
The legislation would presumably jump-start investments, job creation, ad boost U.S. competitiveness.
The U.S. ranks 19th on the quality of infrastructure, a fact Warner said could be attributed to the U.S. spending roughly two percent of its GDP on infrastructure, about half of what it did 50 years ago.
10 Senators from both sides of the aisle stressed that infrastructure spending is a bipartisan problem.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) said poor infrastructure hit close to home, pointing to the 1-35W Mississippi River Bridge collapsing in August 2007, killing 13 people.
“Bridges just shouldn’t fall down,” Klobuchar said.
Blunt said the BRIDGE act can work in tandem with other proposed legislation to address the problem, like the Partnership to Build America Act, sponsored by Sen. John Delaney (D-MD).