President Biden came into office promising to find common ground to get things done – and he’s delivering on that promise. Twenty mayors in North Carolina from across party lines recently signed a letter as part of the United States Conference of Mayors in support of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework, addressed to the United States Congress.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework will position North Carolina workers, farmers, and businesses – small and large alike – to compete and win in the 21st century. It’s the largest investment in our infrastructure in a century – the largest investment in rail since the creation of Amtrak, largest investment in public transit in American history, largest investment in clean energy transmission in American history, largest investment in clean drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. It will deliver high-speed internet to every home in North Carolina.
Despite bipartisan support for the framework from mayors across the country and Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, the majority of Republicans in Congress have been talking a big game about infrastructure investment for years. Now is the time for them to honor that commitment and vote to move forward with a bill.
The letter reads:
On behalf of The United States Conference of Mayors, we urge you to take immediate action on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework announced by President Biden and a group of Republican and Democratic Senators on June 24 in the spirit of both progress and compromise.
This framework would be the largest long-term investment in our nation’s infrastructure and competitiveness in nearly a century – $1.2 trillion over eight years – to help make our economy more sustainable, resilient, and just. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework is crucial to making meaningful progress on one of the most pressing and unifying challenges facing our country – the need for comprehensive investment in public transportation; roads; bridges; passenger and freight rail; drinking water and wastewater; clean energy and electrification; legacy pollution cleanup; cyber-attack and extreme weather-resiliency; and universal broadband access. Thus, we believe that this framework deserves bipartisan support in the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives.
As was the case with the historic American Rescue Plan – where Democrat, Republican and independent mayors came together through The United States Conference of Mayors to help secure $350 billion in direct relief for state and local governments – we know that details of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework will need to be developed by the leadership and relevant committees in Congress. As this process moves forward, we would like to work closely with you and stress the following points.
First, we strongly urge that no funding previously signed into law to help cities address the health, public safety and economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic be “clawed back,” repurposed or redirected to help pay for new investments in America’s infrastructure.
Second, we call on our federal leaders to continue to empower local decision-makers by investing federal resources to help us build stronger communities and lift up those who have suffered so much during this pandemic – many of whom never fully recovered from the economic meltdown of ‘08. Committing to more localism can be accomplished by investing directly in our cities through existing and proven delivery systems such as Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants, Community Development Block Grants, and Surface Transportation Block Grants. These are the tools that will help us build back better.
With these priorities in mind, we strongly urge Congress to move forward on developing and implementing the details of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework so that it can be passed in the Senate and House and then signed into law as soon as possible.