*UPDATE: Feb. 18, 2020*
Four Democratic presidential candidates discussed infrastructure challenges at a Feb. 16 campaign forum billed as the first-ever to focus on the issue.
All candidates agreed the nation needs to invest more to repair aging roads, bridges, and other infrastructure, as well as building modern projects, but spoke more cautiously around the subject of whether to raise the federal gas tax for the first time since 1993 in order to fix them.
Forum participants included former Vice President Joe Biden, businessman Tom Steyer, former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota.
Some of the comments highlighted by ARTBA from the candidates who were present on stage included:
- “We’re not going to be able to raise the gas tax, we might be able to index it down the line," Vice President Biden said.
- Steyer said the federal gas tax is “super politically sensitive.” He added, “What we are definitely going to have to do is raise taxes.”
- Buttigieg said he would consider a vehicle miles traveled user fee, provided individual privacy is protected. “We are going to have to graduate from the gas tax because we are going to have to graduate from gas.”
- All four candidates said they support more commuter and high-speed rail investment to reduce highway traffic.
ARTBA was on the steering committee of the nationally televised event at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. Besides their on-stage appearances, each of the candidates also met privately with conference sponsors, including ARTBA leaders, to discuss informally their ideas for investing in America’s infrastructure.
SOURCE: ARTBA Washington Newsline
ORIGINAL POST: Feb. 12, 2020 - Presidential candidates to join "Moving America Forward" infrastructure forum
This week, the hosts of “Moving America Forward: A Presidential Candidate Forum on Infrastructure, Jobs, and Building a Better America” announced that multiple 2020 presidential candidates will participate in the forum at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas on Sunday, Feb. 16.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, and former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg are among the confirmed Democratic presidential candidates who will be in attendance on Sunday.
The bipartisan nonprofit group United for Infrastructure says it has organized the “Moving America Forward” presidential forum as an opportunity for candidates to address the challenges facing America’s roads and transit systems, bridges and railroads, ports and airports, and water and wastewater systems—as well as to lay out their vision for an infrastructure plan that supports a strong economy, job creation, consumer safety, and national security.
The host committee includes International Union of Operating Engineers; Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO; North America’s Building Trades Unions; Transport Workers Union of America; American Society of Civil Engineers; American Public Transportation Association; American Council of Engineering Companies; American Road and Transportation Builders Association; Value of Water Campaign; Association of Equipment Manufacturers; Airports Council International-North America; and Build Together.
The Moving America Forward committee says that infrastructure presents both an urgent challenge and an opportunity for the next presidential administration to address an issue that affects every American. The host committee says that infrastructure is also an issue that 90% of Americans believe should be a priority for the next administration. The forum will offer a dynamic conversation on the future of infrastructure.
"Infrastructure can help alleviate or exacerbate rising inequality and help solve the affordable housing crisis," United for Infrastructure said in a news release. "It impacts how Americans cope with and experience climate change pressures."
SOURCE: United for Infrastructure