National Infrastructure Bank (NIB) would rebuild, replace and revolutionize Pa.’s and nation’s infrastructure without raising taxes
Rep. Ed Neilson May 6, 2021 | 11:59 AM
If there’s one issue that Americans mostly can agree on as Democrats, Republicans and independents – as well as presidents past and present – it’s that our great country needs to repair, rebuild, replace and enhance its physical and operational infrastructure for our country’s future and prosperity.
What we can’t seem to agree on is how to pay for it. In Pennsylvania, each driver pays $620 per year in lost time and repairs due to driving on thousands of miles of inadequate roads in desperate need of repair, while more than one in 10 Pennsylvania households don’t have an internet subscription – often because there is no service or it’s not affordable.
At the same time, a once-in-a-century pandemic has disrupted and changed our lives, creating incredible challenges – but also incredible opportunities. And, with trillions of dollars still needed to repair our nation’s infrastructure verified by The American Society of Civil Engineers, there is no greater challenge or opportunity than improving our nation’s roads, bridges, drinking water, high-speed rail and broadband access, creating safe and healthy schools, and so much more – like creating 25 million good-paying jobs.
That is why we support creating a National Infrastructure Bank to invest $5 trillion needed to rebuild, replace and revolutionize Pennsylvania and our nation’s infrastructure without raising taxes. Legislation (H.R. 6422) has already been introduced in Congress to create this “NIB,” which would be a separate institution from the Federal Budget, set up as a government-sponsored lending, deposit-money bank, and capitalized with existing treasuries held by the public sector.
This incredible process of using government-backed private capital to finance these most-needed projects has been successfully used to restore our country’s economic stability four times throughout the history of our beloved country.
Our first president, George Washington, and his Treasury secretary, Alexander Hamilton, used this NIB process to fuel the energy needed to sustain and grow the birth of the United States. President John Quincey Adams used it in 1816 to reinvigorate the economy following the near disaster of the War of 1812. President Abraham Lincoln used the NIB process to help keep America’s economy going and win the Civil War. And most recently, President Franklin D. Roosevelt used the NIB to recover from the Depression of the 1930s and then to address the countless needs of World War II before, during and after.
Each president used the NIB process to help America recover from some traumatic occurrence that negatively impacted our economy and the lives of American citizens. There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has been a nationwide traumatic event, spreading grief, fear and uncertainty across our country and economy.
In 2021, we have the chance to build back better using the same tool used by great presidents of the past, with an even better America emerging in the face of national tragedy and challenges.
Building and repairing any kind of infrastructure is an American issue – not a political issue – and the NIB is an American policy – not a political policy. The NIB means more than 25 million living-wage jobs for our families. The NIB also means producing American steel and American products needed to build a long-lasting system of improvements, in turn providing our children and grandchildren decades of up-to-date, modern facilities and the infrastructure needed to maintain a high quality of life.
Simply put, the NIB is the best way to restore our reputation and superiority as a great country by providing a modern, efficient, healthy and safe system of transportation, education and communication for future generations of Pennsylvanians and Americans to come.
You can help build that future by contacting your U.S. congressperson and senator today and encouraging them to support the creation of a National Infrastructure Bank through the passage of H.R. 6422.