For Immediate Release
Toby Chaudhuri or Rachel Perrone, 202-587-1639
Progressive Leaders Push For Major Public Investments To Fuel Economic Recovery
Experts Gather on Capitol Hill to Discuss Bold Public Investment Strategies;
WASHINGTON - Congressional
and progressive leaders kicked off a major effort on Capitol Hill today
to push a long-term investment program that could fill a staggering
public infrastructure deficit cited in a new report released today by
the Campaign for America's Future.
The need for a bold public investment initiative was detailed at
today's conference sponsored by the Campaign for America's Future at
the Library of Congress. Members of Congress, economists and labor and
business leaders agreed that the times demand an aggressive program to
fuel our economic recovery and growth, both in the short- and long-term.
Campaign for America's Future co-director Robert Borosage
opened the conference by noting that the need for substantial,
strategic and sustained public investments is rapidly increasing as
economic conditions worsen.
"Our challenge is not finding the money," said Borosage. "Our challenge
is finding the political will to respond boldly to the economic crises
before us. We will not have a moment like this again in our lifetimes.
In the deepening recession, the first task is to put people back to
work by rebuilding America. In the long term, we need a sustained
expansion of public investment in our future."
Conference participants included Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., and Progressive Caucus co-chairs Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., and Rep. Lynn Woolsey,
D-Calif. They discussed new strategies for public investments from
modern infrastructure and new energy to lifelong education, laying out
ways to finance sustained economic growth.
Rep. DeLauro said we need to get our economy back on track with a new approach of investing in large infrastructure projects.
"We need a solution that moves beyond left or right," said Rep.
DeLauro. "We need a solution that creates jobs and strengthens our
economy with significant and substantial resources in our
infrastructure. We have the moment and the will now for a national
Rep. Woolsey agreed with Rep. DeLauro, noting that our collapsing infrastructure needs immediate attention.
"The most important need is our crumbing infrastructure," said Rep.
Woolsey. "We must invest in our public infrastructure. We must do it
once and for all. It will take the leadership of the federal government
and the partnership of our businesses."
Janet Kavinoky of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce also called for a strong and competitive public infrastructure.
"Business and labor will fight about many issues in the years ahead,
but one place where we're on the same page is investing in
infrastructure," said Kavinoky. "We're falling behind to maintain what
we need to do on public investment. We're driving investment to the top
of our agenda."
In his keynote address at the conference, University of Texas professor and economist James Galbraith called for a national infrastructure investment fund for capital projects.
"Building capital assets and infrastructure shouldn't be subject to
pay-go," said Galbraith. "A revolving fund could be on the president's
desk on day one to move large scale public investment projects and
rebuild America. With a new fund, states wouldn't have to cut services,
eliminate police officers or fire fighters or close parks."
The Campaign for America's Future report, "The Investment Deficit in
America," outlines deficiencies in transportation, energy, Internet and
education projects where public investments are needed the most. The
total long-term investments discussed in the report would cost about
$2.5 trillion over the next several years. If instituted, these
investments would pay dividends over time. They'd create good jobs that
stay in America and construct infrastructure that would never leave.
The investment would help hire teachers, train engineers and strengthen
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**NOTE: To view a video of today's conference and PowerPoint
presentations or to obtain an electronic copy of the Campaign for
America's Future report, please visit http://institute.ourfuture.