President Trump and congressional leaders have said that addressing America’s deteriorating infrastructure is a high priority. Lack of adequate investment over the years has taken its toll on the nation’s roads and bridges, water systems and waterways, electrical grid, airports, rail, transit, and broadband availability. This investment gap is also a drag on U.S. economic growth. A recent analysis by the Economic Development Research Group found that continued underinvestment could cost the U.S. economy nearly $4 trillion in lost GDP by 2025.
In the coming weeks, under the direction of former Hudson Distinguished Fellow and now Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, the administration will reportedly release more details on its infrastructure plans. But while there is broad, bipartisan support for fixing our infrastructure, big questions remain about prioritizing needs and, of course, how to pay for those priorities.
To examine these and other questions, Hudson Institute hosted a timely conversation on June 8 about the importance of modernizing America’s infrastructure to spur sustained economic growth and job creation and improve the quality of life for all Americans. U.S. Senator John Boozman offered his perspective in opening remarks drawing on his experiences serving on the Committee on the Environment and Public Works and the Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development.
A panel discussion followed the senator’s remarks featuring the Hon. Aubrey Layne, Virginia’s Secretary of Transportation; David Horner, former deputy assistant secretary for transportation policy at the U.S. Department of Transportation and chief counsel of the Federal Transit Administration; Skip Stitt, author of Hudson’s recent report Infrastructure Spending and Public-Private Partnerships and former senior deputy mayor and COO of Indianapolis under Mayor Steve Goldsmith; and Jennifer Aument, a commissioner for the Virginia Port Authority and Group General Manager, North America at Transurban.