Senate Democrats Host Roundtable Discussion on Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure

Steering Meeting

Washington, D.C. – Today, Senators Mark Begich (AK), Chairman of the Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee (DSOC), Jeanne Shaheen (NH), Vice-Chair of DSOC, and Chris Coons (DE), Chairman of Business Outreach hosted a roundtable discussion with nearly two dozen infrastructure industry stakeholders. Attendees to the discussion represented labor, construction, manufacturing, engineering, real estate, and financial services organizations.

With the economy continuing to recover and build momentum, today’s discussion was critical to the Senate’s efforts to hear insights from a broad array of industry leaders on how federal investment and partnerships in manufacturing, construction, and technology sectors will create jobs and strengthen the economy.

 “Infrastructure is the backbone of our economy,” said Sen. Begich. “As we work together to set national priorities, we need to strengthen public/private partnerships in order to increase investments in infrastructure industries like transportation, manufacturing, and construction.  A strong infrastructure industry means a stronger economy, more jobs and more prosperity for American families.”

“Our bridges, roads, and waterways are the pathways that make our nation’s commerce possible,” Senator Coons said. “The longer we put off the infrastructure investments we clearly need, the more we put at risk the millions of jobs dependent on those pathways. Congress must make critical investments in our nation’s aging infrastructure, but should leverage private investment to do so. Today’s discussion highlighted the innovative financing options available to help close the infrastructure funding gap and make the investments we need. There were some really interesting ideas discussed that I’m excited to see fleshed out and explored.”

“American equipment manufacturers have grown increasingly concerned with the failing infrastructure system in our country and its effect on job growth and the economy,” said Dennis Slater, President of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. “I appreciated the opportunity to meet with the Democratic Senators and discuss ways to secure long-term funding for our infrastructure system in order to make sure it is viable for generations to come.”

“In order to continue to grow our economy and create jobs, we must provide America with the tools they need to stay competitive and at the forefront of innovation,” said Ron DeFeo, CEO of Terex Corporation. “The United States is currently ranked 23rd globally in infrastructure quality, which puts manufacturers at a disadvantage in their ability to compete on a global scale.  30,000 jobs are created for every $1 billion spent on infrastructure.  The Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee understands the importance of investing in a strong national infrastructure system and I appreciated our discussion about ways to work together to make that a reality.”

Senate Democrats pledged to support measures that will leverage private and public capital to help fund a broad range of infrastructure projects.

 Photos from today’s meeting can be found here

 About the Senate Democratic Steering & Outreach Committee

The Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee is dedicated to fostering dialogue between Senate Democrats and community leaders from across the nation. Each year, the Steering Committee hosts several meetings with advocates, policy experts, and elected officials to discuss key priorities and enlist their help in the development of the Democratic agenda in the Senate. We are committed to serving as a liaison between Senate Democratic offices and advocacy groups and intergovernmental organizations. The Steering Committee is one of three Democratic Leadership Committees in the Senate. The Steering Committee is chaired by Senator Mark Begich (AK) and vice chaired by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (NH).