Washington - Following the launch of BRT TV in May, Business Roundtable today released Season One, Episode Two: Infrastructure to make the case for significant investment in America’s physical infrastructure as outlined in the bipartisan framework.
Season One, Episode Two: Infrastructure is available at brt.org/tv and includes extended interviews with: Brendan P. Bechtel, Chairman and CEO, Bechtel Group, Inc. and Chair, Business Roundtable Infrastructure Committee; Beth Ford, President and CEO, Land O’Lakes, Inc.; Scott Kirby, CEO, United Airlines; and Joshua Bolten, President & CEO, Business Roundtable. Hear firsthand from America’s job creators why infrastructure investment is so urgently needed and what it will mean for American workers and families.
On Endorsing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework:
“Policymakers on both sides of the aisle have been talking about dealing with America’s crumbling infrastructure for a very long time. And everybody’s agreed it needs to happen, but there’s never been the political will to come together,” said Bolten. “It’s a real breakthrough that a bipartisan group, in this very difficult political environment, has come together and agreed on a proposal with the President. That’s a watershed moment. We think it’s a terrific proposal. We support it 100 percent, and we will put the full weight of our advocacy behind it.”
Bolten continued: “The bipartisan group of 21 Senators, the President, the rest of his Administration—they all deserve a huge amount of credit for having arrived at the bipartisan framework. It is a great piece of work and deserves the support of every Member of Congress. We’re urging the Members who are not yet on board this infrastructure train, get on board. It’s time now for infrastructure in America to be upgraded to 21st century standards, and we need the help of the whole political system to get there.”
On Framework Proposals that Ensure Sustainable, Long-Term Investment:
“A major source of funding for infrastructure going forward, the Business Roundtable believes, should be how do we mobilize more private capital, which wants to flow into infrastructure,” said Bechtel. “The ways that we would do that would be things like streamlining the permitting process, particularly at the federal level. That doesn’t mean getting rid of any of the environmental or social protections that are so important. It means coordinating so that there’s one agency in charge of all the permits for a highway project, and it all happens in two years rather than six or seven different agencies over 10 years, which adds a ton of risk in terms of schedule and cost to a project.”
“The bipartisan framework very smartly adopts a variety of ways to cover the cost,” added Bolten. “There’s an opportunity to deploy unused funds from the previous COVID relief packages. There’s an opportunity to increase enforcement of our tax laws so that everybody is paying their fair share. There are public-private partnerships that can be deployed that offset the cost. And if we can’t fully cover the cost with other measures, then if there’s ever a place where it’s worth borrowing some extra money to cover the cost of a public good, this is it. Our studies show that every dollar spent on infrastructure creates $4 of growth in the economy. That’s a really good multiplier.”
On the Urgency to Act Now:
“To everyone in Congress: Please find a way to get this over the finish line as a bipartisan bill,” said Kirby. “This can be a huge win for U.S. workers, for their families, for the U.S. economy, for bipartisanship in the country. And it will be so much better if it’s bipartisan, even if it doesn’t have everything that you as an individual would like it to have. After everything we’ve been through in the last 18 months and going through the pandemic, being able to find ways to unify the country and find goals that we can be ambitious, that we can dream, that we can build big things and accomplish great things together.”
“This is that urgent—infrastructure, physical infrastructure, technological infrastructure—it is that urgent,” said Ford. “It leaves us less competitive on the world stage. And if we want to continue to have the best country in the world, the best economy in the world, the safest location in the world where people want to go, this is the time to come together. Now I’m encouraged because when I’m in conversations with both sides of the aisle, they’re ready to get it done. This is the time to show that bipartisanship and to invest appropriately for the future.”