July 26, 2021

Contact Your Lawmakers To Support The Senate Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

On Wednesday, July 21, U.S. senators cast a vote to allow debate on a bipartisan infrastructure framework to move forward. Because a full piece of legislation had not yet been written, the vote failed. The bipartisan group of 22 senators that have been working on framework continued their negotiations despite the setback.

The group could announce details about their package early this week after agreeing to pay for the legislation in part by delaying a costly Medicare regulation that was put into place during Donald Trump’s presidency. (Early last week, the senators dropped plans to pay for the roughly $1 trillion plan by boosting tax collection enforcement funding for the Internal Revenue Service.) The Congressional Budget Office has estimated repealing the rule would reduce federal Medicare spending by about $177 billion in a decade — a fraction of what is needed to pay for the infrastructure bill.

As a reminder, MSCI is a member of the Coalition for Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment. Coalition leaders have encouraged employees, business leaders, and other interested individuals to call their U.S. senators and representatives in the U.S. House. Individuals can find information for U.S. senators here and for U.S. House lawmakers here.

Here is some data from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) that can be used in emails and phone calls to lawmakers:

  • Inefficient, unreliable infrastructure is a drag on the U.S. economy. We will lose jobs if we don’t invest and it is projected that almost half those jobs will be in high-wage industries like manufacturing and healthcare.
  • If lawmakers don’t act now to invest in infrastructure, the U.S. is projected to lose nearly $2.4 trillion in exports from 2020 to 2039.
  • Failure to invest infrastructure now will cost the average American family more than $3,000 annually over the next 20 years.
  • The average American household loses $63 a week due to chronic underinvestment in infrastructure.

Find more information from ASCE here. ASCE also has created a portal that lets individuals send customized letters to federal lawmakers. Find that portal here. These calls and letters are very important.

If the legislation succeeds in the Senate, it still will face a tough road to passage in the U.S. House of Representatives. Last week, a group of more than 30 Democrats on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, including Chairman Peter DeFazio (Ore.), warned Democratic leaders against trying to force House members to rubber-stamp any bipartisan infrastructure package negotiated by the Senate without any changes.

Additionally, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said late last week that her chamber will not consider a bipartisan infrastructure bill until the Senate first passes a budget reconciliation measure that includes $3.5 trillion in social spending. This is the two-track process that Senate Republicans have opposed.