The backbone of our nation
Our nation's infrastructure consists of our aviation, bridges, dams, drinking water, energy, levees, ports, public parks, rails, roads, schools, wastewater, and waterways. Many of these infrastructure components are at, or have past, their design life. This means that if a particular system was designed for 50 years, that system is at, or older than, 50 years. This means that many of our infrastructure components could fail at any moment. This presents a grave danger to the American public.
According to the 2017 Infrastructure Report Card, we need to invest $2 TRILLION over the next 10 years, or $200 Billion per year to repair our aging infrastructure. This is a lot of money, but it is money that will pay immeasurable dividends over the next 50 - 100 years. Although the cost is high, this investment will spur a massive employment market because we will need a lot of Americans to do the work to fix and replace our crumbling infrastructure. The lives preserved, the cargo saved, the money saved from lawsuits and vehicle repairs that will be prevented, and the health benefits and medical cost savings from improved drinking water and proper waste water disposal will save money for every American.
The current administration has already made great strides in improving our infrastructure. But, we need to do a lot more. One of my biggest concerns is quality. It does us no good if we replace our infrastructure with cheap products and materials. We need to ensure that we are using high-quality products that are designed to last 50 - 100 years, with a preference on lasting closer to 100 years.
Another major concern for me is when federal money is given to a State or Agency to manage the infrastructure projects, that State or Agency needs to account for every penny of that money. Congress needs to have oversight to ensure that the State or Agency isn't doing the work cheaply and pocketing the rest of the money.
Infrastructure is vital to each and every American. It is one of the best ways we can invest in the health and safety of our beloved citizens.
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Infrastructure Facts (mini diagnostic report)
Legislative Outline for Rebuilding Infrastructure in America: On February 12, 2018, President Trump issued a 55-page outline of a $1.5 Trillion Infrastructure plan. Congress has not tackled comprehensive infrastructure. Instead, they want to do many smaller bills. I will use this outline to develop a full and comprehensive Infrastructure bill, so we can have one debate, not 100 in Congress. It's time for us to stop taking baby steps and take the giant leap into the future to protect our citizens from our failing infrastructure. Let's make this "One and Done", not death by a thousand lashes (cuts). I also want this bill to contain language that specifies that we must prioritize the use of technology in our infrastructure plans so we are replacing old systems with technologically advanced systems that will last much longer than our current systems.
Federal Funds Accountability Bill: Protects Americans by ensuring that federal funds are being spent wisely and not mishandled by the recipient state, agency, or organization.