Katko Leads Bipartisan Effort Calling for Consensus-Driven Infrastructure Package

Washington –  U.S. Rep. John Katko (R, NY-24) today led a bipartisan effort urging Congressional Leaders to work across the aisle to negotiate and advance a consensus-driven infrastructure package. This effort comes as the Biden Administration continues to tout infrastructure as a top legislative priority and one week after Rep. Katko participated in a bipartisan meeting at the White House with President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg to discuss common ground on infrastructure legislation. Rep Katko led this effort alongside U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D, FL-7) and was joined by U.S. Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart (R, FL-25), Andrew Garbarino (R, NY-2), Jim Costa (D, CA-16), Ed Case (D, HI-1), Elise M. Stefanik (R, NY-21), Stephanie Bice (R, OK-5), Peter Meijer (R, MI-3), Steve Stivers (R, OH-15), Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (D, GA-2), Young Kim (R, CA-39), Carlos A. Gimenez (R, FL-26), Vicente Gonzalez (D, TX-15), Michael T. McCaul (R, TX-10), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R, PA-1). 

In a letter (released to the media) to Congressional Leaders, Rep. Katko and the lawmakers highlighted the need for substantive bipartisan discussions and compromise to move policies forward that provide flexible and dependable federal funding for infrastructure projects, support project completion, and increase the resiliency of existing infrastructure. In the past, infrastructure legislation developed along party-lines has failed to gain traction and be signed into law. To deliver meaningful infrastructure investments to address the needs of the entire nation, the lawmakers believe bipartisanship is essential.

Rep. Katko and the lawmakers wrote, “Simply put, our constituents are counting on us to deliver substantive investments to our highways, roads and bridges, transit systems and railways, ports and airports, water and sewer systems, energy systems and power grid, and broadband and communications networks. Absent substantive federal action, disrepair and congestion will continue to replace safety and innovation as the defining characteristics of American infrastructure.”

The lawmakers concluded, “Our hope is that Congress and the Biden administration can work together to bring a comprehensive infrastructure package to the floor later this year. In working together on these critical issues, we have a significant opportunity to improve the lives of millions of Americans, ensure the ability of our businesses to compete on the global stage, and strengthen the foundation of our economy for years to come.”

The full text of the lawmakers request can be found below:

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader McCarthy, Leader Schumer, and Leader McConnell,

With the 117th Congress underway, we write to express our shared commitment to finding bipartisan solutions to the many challenges facing our nation. In addition to addressing the sustained threat of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and working together to strengthen our national security, we believe that Congress must prioritize comprehensive infrastructure legislation in the months ahead. As we approach the expiration of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act later this year, it is critical that lawmakers put partisanship aside and come together on a long-term infrastructure package that will benefit American communities nationwide.

Simply put, our constituents are counting on us to deliver substantive investments to our highways, roads and bridges, transit systems and railways, ports and airports, water and sewer systems, energy systems and power grid, and broadband and communications networks.

Absent substantive federal action, disrepair and congestion will continue to replace safety and innovation as the defining characteristics of American infrastructure. The costs of inaction will continue to be borne by American families and businesses, with the American Society of Civil Engineers estimating in 2019 that inaction on surface infrastructure investment would cost the average American family $1,060 per year in disposable income and suppress GDP growth by $897 billion. Additionally, these conditions will only be worsened by the sustained budgetary damage that COVID-19 has inflicted on state and local governments, which fund approximately 75% of our nation’s transportation infrastructure projects.

Effectively responding to these dire conditions will require compromise, as well as a commitment to long-term solutions. Substantive bipartisan discussions are essential to providing flexible and dependable federal funding for infrastructure projects across the country, an effort that includes addressing the long-term solvency and stability of the Highway Trust Fund. Additionally, we must take action on issues that are already the subject of significant bipartisan agreement, such as the need to prioritize project completion in our communities and increase the resiliency of our nation’s infrastructure. Bipartisan negotiations are essential to finding the path forward on these issues and ensuring that Congress addresses the diverse infrastructure needs of our communities. 

With these goals in mind, we write to express our shared commitment to prioritizing bipartisan infrastructure reform in the months ahead. Our hope is that Congress and the Biden administration can work together to bring a comprehensive infrastructure package to the floor later this year. In working together on these critical issues, we have a significant opportunity to improve the lives of millions of Americans, ensure the ability of our businesses to compete on the global stage, and strengthen the foundation of our economy for years to come.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. Although our nation currently faces some of the most significant challenges in modern history, we look forward to working together and delivering real solutions for the American people.