The Associated General Contractors of America says the Obama administration’s recent moves to boost its 6-month-old “Build America Investment Initiative” are welcome, but more must be done.
On Jan. 16, the administration said it was creating a new center within the Environmental Protection Agency to help secure funding for the estimated $600 billion in work on drinking water and wastewater treatment needed in the next 20 years. It also said the Department of Agriculture will also seek investment to bring water, energy and high-speed Internet services to rural U.S. residents.
And the White House also said it was creating a new type of municipal bond to fund public-private partnerships.
Steven E. Sandherr, the AGC’s CEO, said the moves would help the construction industry.
“The new Build America Investment initiatives outlined by the Obama administration today will help boost our economy and help rebuild aging infrastructure,” he said. “The steps being taken by the administration should make it easier for state and local officials to finance a wide variety of projects designed to upgrade aging clean water systems, improve power transmission networks and keep our roads and bridges safe.”
But more is needed, and that will require the support of Congress, Sandherr added.
"While these measures will help, taken on their own they will not solve the growing challenge we face as a nation of maintaining and upgrading our aging water, energy and transportation infrastructure,” he said. “That is why we will continue to work with the Congress and the Obama administration to identify and enact long-term measures that establish the sufficient and stable funding needed to rebuild and improve our aging infrastructure."