More than 100 business leaders urge lawmakers to pass infrastructure bill

More than 100 business leaders urge lawmakers to pass infrastructure bill
© Greg Nash

A coalition of more than 100 business leaders on Monday penned a letter to congressional leaders, urging them to pass the infrastructure bill that was agreed to by the White House and a bipartisan group of Capitol Hill negotiators.

“We write to express strong support for your promising efforts to design and pass a Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework, a long-awaited and desperately needed program to renew and rebuild our nation’s crumbling infrastructure,” the letter, which was signed by 146 business leaders, said.

“We urge you to finalize and adopt this program to modernize and expand physical and digital assets that are a necessary foundation for our nation’s sustainable growth,” the letter added.

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It was addressed to Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerSchumer mourns death of 'amazing' father Feehery: The honest contrarian Biden administration to release oil from strategic reserve: reports MORE (D-N.Y.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellRepublicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves Graham emerges as go-to ally for Biden's judicial picks Five reasons for Biden, GOP to be thankful this season MORE (R-Ky.), House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiFive reasons for Biden, GOP to be thankful this season Bipartisan success in the Senate signals room for more compromise The GOP's post-1/6 playbook is clear — and it's dangerous MORE (D-Calif.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyGOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips With extreme gerrymanders locking in, Biden needs to make democracy preservation job one Greene: McCarthy 'doesn't have the full support to be Speaker' MORE (R-Calif.).

President BidenJoe BidenGOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips Five House members meet with Taiwanese president despite Chinese objections Sunday shows preview: New COVID-19 variant emerges; supply chain issues and inflation persist MORE announced last month that the White House and a bipartisan group of congressional negotiators reached a deal on an infrastructure bill following months of talks. The legislation includes more than $1.2 trillion over eight years.

The package, however, has since stalled as lawmakers hash out the final provisions of the bill, particularly transit funding.

Republicans have said the tens of billions of dollars that Democrats want in that sector is unreasonable, while some on the left are pushing for even more funding.

The lawmakers are racing against the clock as they work to pass infrastructure legislation before leaving Washington at the end of next week for August recess.

The letter, which the White House promoted, said the framework agreed upon by Congress and the White House “reflects priorities shared by labor, business and state and local governments, as well as the American people.”

“It will leverage significant private investment and generate a strong return for the federal government,” the letter added.

The leaders specifically pointed out the new jobs that would be generated through investments in mass transit, roads, bridges, airports, broadband and “other essential assets,” which they said would create training and reemployment avenues for millions of Americans who lost their jobs during the pandemic.

They also said the public-private initiatives established through the new funding “will accelerate recovery from losses suffered due to COVID-19.”

“We urge you to seize the moment and act quickly to pass this bipartisan initiative,” they concluded.

The signatories of the letter included General Motors Co. Chairwoman and CEO Mary Barra, Con Edison Inc. President and CEO Timothy Cawley, Ford Motor Co. CEO James Farley Jr., Peloton Co-Founder and CEO John Foley, Macy’s Chairman and CEO Jeff Gennette, Morgan Stanley Chairman and CEO James Gorman, JetBlue Airways CEO Robin Hayes, Siemens USA President and CEO Barbara Humpton, Visa Inc. Chairman and CEO Alfred Kelly Jr., United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby, American Express Chairman and CEO Stephen Squeri, and Vox Media President Pamela Wasserstein.