A picture of Representative Mark Pocan
Mark P.
Democrat WI 2

About Rep. Mark
  • Congressional Progressive Caucus: Infrastructure

    by Representative Mark Pocan

    Posted on 2015-02-12

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    POCAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise on behalf of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which is having our Special Order hour today to talk about the Nation's need for infrastructure--the fact that we need to keep serious investments in infrastructure not only to keep our roads and bridges and other important parts of our country together but also to help the good, family-supporting jobs that come along with these important investments in our infrastructure.

    I serve on the Budget Committee, and we were talking one day with Dr. Elmendorf from the Congressional Budget Office, our nonpartisan agency that we deal with to talk about budgetary matters.

    Specifically, I asked the question of Dr. Elmendorf about the Recovery Act that we passed in this country a number of years ago. Dr. Elmendorf said that, thanks to that Recovery Act, over 3 million jobs were saved or created because of the investment we put into our Nation's infrastructure.

    In my State of Wisconsin, I was at the State legislature at the time and I chaired our budget committee. We had a report from the road building industry and the vertical construction industry that said 54,000 jobs just in Wisconsin were saved or created because of the Recovery Act.

    As much as that helped provide a boost to the economy and help fill our infrastructure needs, we still have so many more to take care of. We have been given a grade of D-plus by the very engineering society that grades our Nation's infrastructure. We have been told that we have 100,000 bridges in this country, or 16 percent, old enough that they can qualify for Medicare.

    {time} 1730 As we know from recent disasters that we have seen in different parts of the country where bridges have fallen and people have literally been killed, we need to reinvest in that infrastructure so that we have a country that operates, that businesses can function.

    Also, we need to help create those jobs now for people who are still out of work. As the economy is coming back, we know that wages have been stagnant, and these are good, strong, family-supporting jobs that can provide it.

    The Congressional Progressive Caucus will soon be putting out our version of the budget, just as we will among the Democrats and the Republicans, but we will put out our version [[Page H1019]] of the budget--just as the President has--with a deep investment in our infrastructure needs because we know that that investment is one of the pillars of the strong economy.

    Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.


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