Infrastructure Outlook: ASCE Statement on House Passage of Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act
Editor’s Note: The following statement was made on Nov. 5, 2021, when the infrastructure bill was passed by Congress. ASCE issued a follow-up statement (available on www.informedinfrastructure.com) on Nov. 15, 2021, when the bill was signed into law by President Biden.
It is a great day for the nation as the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), fulfilling President Biden’s vision with a historic piece of legislation that will have monumental impacts on the economy, public safety, global competitiveness, and each American’s well-being. Passage of this five-year, $1.2 trillion bill proves once again that the country can lead with infrastructure.
With this legislation, the federal government will restore their critical partnership with cities and states to modernize our nation’s roads, bridges, transit systems, drinking water pipes, school facilities, broadband, ports, airports and more. Without a strong federal partner, local projects that are community lifelines have hung in the balance, oftentimes being paused or outright cancelled due to funding uncertainties. When this happens, American households and businesses are the ones who pay the price.
The IIJA is the culmination of decades of advocacy by American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) members who worked tirelessly to educate Congress about the role infrastructure plays in supporting the economy and our quality of life. ASCE’s Infrastructure Report Cards have sounded the alarm on our nation’s infrastructure conditions since 1998, with new reports being released every four years. While all categories of infrastructure have been the cause of some concerns, the common denominator behind each category’s struggles has been a backlog of projects, overdue maintenance, and a need for resilience. This bill includes investments to repair and modernize these critical assets for almost all of the 17 categories in the 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, which assigned our nation’s infrastructure a cumulative grade of ‘C-.’
We commend the House for joining the Senate in prioritizing American communities by passing this bipartisan infrastructure legislation, and we are encouraged that President Biden has indicated he will sign the bill quickly to ensure our communities receive these long-awaited resources soon, allowing critical projects to move forward.