These days in Washington, it can seem as though you might see pigs fly before you see a Democrat and a Republican sitting down for a thoughtful discussion on policies that would benefit all Americans. Today, however, was an exception.
Federal and state government leaders from both sides of the aisle, as well as leaders from the digital technology and transportation industries, gathered at a Bloomberg Government NEXT event to discuss ways to bring our crumbling infrastructure back to life.
Representatives Ted Yoho (R-FL), Rodney Davis (R-IL) and John Delaney (D-MD) had a thoughtful discussion on how to finance infrastructure repairs and improvements in order to create a system for the 21st century and beyond. There is an abundance of ideas on how to move our nation’s infrastructure forward—what’s really needed is better funding. While roads and bridges are what spring to mind when we think about infrastructure, digital infrastructure improvements also have the ability to improve the lives of millions of Americans in the form of advancements in telecommunications, internet access, and infrastructure that can bring our digital services from 4G to 5G.
Investing in our infrastructure is not a partisan issue. It is a matter of prioritizing policies that will benefit all Americans regardless of political affiliation. Whatever views you may have on health care, tax reform, or any other issue, there is no reason we can’t all agree that investing in roads, bridges, dams, waterways, and our electric grid is a vital course of action that has long been left for a later date. The Bloomberg NEXT event was a move toward bringing these issues to the forefront of today.
Panel discussions ranged from the short term investment in maintenance, to the future of infrastructure culminating in “smart” cities that will use technology to provide internet access to all. Many of the panels looked at the future of American infrastructure as bright and hopeful, and they all agreed that common sense investments need to happen today. We are excited to see these sorts of discussions occurring, as they show decision makers in Washington that there is a strong consensus among elected officials, industry executives, and the American people about building up our infrastructure. Doing so is in all of our best interests, and putting a plan in motion will improve our economic competitiveness, bolster our national security, and create thousands of jobs.
The Bloomberg Government Next event highlighted a number of important factors and issues facing America’s struggling infrastructure. Discussions such as this, along with President Trump’s White House Summit for infrastructure, show that there is strong support for investment and improvement. The next step is to begin working, begin investing, and begin pulling America’s crumbled infrastructure back up onto its feet. This event is important in the early stages of what needs to happen in Washington. The discussion will hopefully lead to action that will revitalize our long neglected infrastructure. These conversations, between Democrats and Republicans, as well as public and private individuals, should continue and grow, moving to Congress and landing on the resolute desk in the form of a large infrastructure investment bill.