By Keith Laing
"To remain globally competitive and spur economic development, we simply must invest in our transportation systems," he said. "This legislation would create an infrastructure fund that leverages federal dollars with private investment, so that America can start breaking ground on transportation projects that will create jobs and help put our economy on the right track."
Rockefeller, who chairs the overall Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, agreed.
“America’s transportation infrastructure is a linchpin for economic success and global leadership,” Rockefeller said. “But in recent years, our infrastructure has deteriorated and is at a breaking point.
"Our roads are crumbling, our aviation system is overloaded, our passenger rail network is too slow and our maritime infrastructure is not up to the demands of global trade," Rockefeller continued.
"Our bill offers an investment mechanism to leverage the vast amount of private capital waiting to be put to use and set a new course in order to meet America’s 21st century infrastructure needs and ultimately support American jobs and make our economy stronger,” Rockefeller said.
The bill likely faces a tough sell in the Republican-led House, where just this week, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he wanted to see budget cuts in the trillions, not millions, before Congress votes on raising the federal debt ceiling.
Lautenberg and Rockefeller's measure calls for $5 billion in funding both in fiscal years 2012 and 2013.