Sen. Bernie Sanders is using his new position as the top Democratic caucus member on the Senate Budget Committee to push a new bill that he will introduce to the new Congress that will create 13 million jobs by rebuilding the nation’s bridges and roads.
Here are the details via Sen. Sanders,
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said today will introduce legislation when the new session of Congress convenes this month to authorize a $1 trillion, multi-year program to rebuild crumbling roads and bridges and invest in other infrastructure modernization projects.
The investment not only would begin to address a growing backlog of badly-needed repairs, it also would put 13 million Americans to work at decent-paying jobs, according to Sanders, who will take over this month as the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee.
“America once led the world in building and maintaining a nationwide network of safe and reliable bridges and roads. Today, nearly a quarter of the nation’s 600,000 bridges have been designated as structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. Let’s rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. Let’s make our country safer and more efficient. Let’s put millions of Americans back to work,” Sanders said.
“There are a number of Republicans who understand that it is vitally important that we rebuild our crumbling infrastructure.”
Sen. Sanders was correct. Infrastructure spending is one of the areas where there is considerable agreement among Democrats and a group of Republicans in the House and Senate. There are two hurdles that an infrastructure spending bill will have to overcome. The far right in the House and Senate who refuse to spend money on anything other than benefits for the wealthy and corporations, and the second problem is that infrastructure bills always face is that every members of Congress wants something for their district or state.
Infrastructure bills tend to get bogged down in the politics of who gets what. If Congress could agree on a bill that would only fix the nation’s bridges and roads, there would be enough benefit to reach across the country. Sen. Sanders is proposing a bill that would fix the nation’s vital infrastructure. The legislation would also create millions of jobs and send the growing economy skyrocketing.
Sanders is going to have a stronger say in the new Congress. Some may look at this bill as the Vermont Senator showcasing his agenda for a potential 2016 presidential campaign, but Bernie Sanders strongly believes in the benefits of infrastructure spending. He has been championing this type of legislation for years.
What Boehner and McConnell do about issues like infrastructure spending will signal how serious they are about governing. What is certain though is that liberals will have a loud voice in the new Congress, and Bernie Sanders will be leading the charge to create millions of new middle-class jobs.