SOTU Analysis: Rebuilding America
In this series of blog posts, Senator Coons' legislative staff shares their analysis of the President's State of the Union address with Delawareans.
In his State of the Union address, President Obama reaffirmed his commitment to strengthening our economy by rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure. Improving our nation's infrastructure is critical to ensuring our long-term competitiveness in the global marketplace.
President Obama proposed a “Fix-It-First” program to "put people to work as soon as possible on our most urgent repairs, like the nearly 70,000 structurally deficient bridges across the country." He also stated that "to make sure taxpayers don¹t shoulder the whole burden, I¹m also proposing a Partnership to Rebuild America that attracts private capital to upgrade what our businesses need most: modern ports to move our goods; modern pipelines to withstand a storm; modern schools worthy of our children."
Senator Coons believes we must make critical investments in our nation's infrastructure to ensure that goods can reach markets, employees can access jobs, and businesses are incentivized to invest in new production facilities here in the United States. He also believes that we must leverage private investment to do so. That's why Chris has supported the creation of a national infrastructure bank to bring more private investment into infrastructure projects. A national infrastructure bank would help state and local governments finance repairs to their critical infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, tunnels, airports, railways, energy networks, water and sewer systems.
Chris is also a leading advocate for deepening the Delaware River from 40 feet to 45 feet in order to accommodate larger cargo vessels. This project is expected to bring an additional 75,000 direct and indirect jobs throughout the Delaware Valley, as well as an increase of 2.5 million tons of cargo per year to the area¹s ports. Chris is also a cosponsor of the bipartisan Harbor Maintenance Act, a revenue-neutral bill that requires the fees collected from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund to be used for just that purpose, maintaining ports nationwide.
Chris is also a strong supporter of Amtrak and high-speed rail development and he fought hard for a long-term reauthorization of the transportation bill. He was proud to support the bipartisan Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, which provides $105 billion for the nation's surface transportation programs through fiscal year 2014, and will save and create around three million jobs nationwide.