Improving America’s Infrastructure
Our nation is falling behind in maintaining and modernizing our transportation network, which hurts our economy and our ability to compete in the world. This is why Raja seeks to create a federal infrastructure bank. Such a bank could provide low-interest loans to states and cities to help finance crucial projects like roads and transit systems. It’s a way to take the politics out of critical road and transit policy, enabling us to start building the future our children deserve.
Raja would finance the infrastructure bank by ending the oil depletion allowance – a tax break for the oil industry that would save the Treasury more than $10 billion over the next ten years. That amount could generate close to $100 billion in capital for infrastructure projects around the country. Once capitalized, the bank would be self-perpetuating as its loans are repaid.
Raja points to two transportation projects benefiting Chicago’s Northwest Suburbs that would be good candidates for such loans: the Metra Star line and the Elgin-O’Hare expressway. The Metra Star line would connect the suburbs outside of Chicago by rail. Early projections indicate its ridership would exceed any existing Metra line. The Elgin-O’Hare expressway would provide a long-sought western access to the airport. The long-delayed project may face an uncertain funding future if state or federal funding is disrupted again due to politics, and this plan would ensure that these projects would remain on track for completion in a timely manner.
In addition, Raja is a co-sponsor of H.Con.Res.63, legislation supporting efforts to enact a bold jobs and infrastructure package that benefits all Americans. This legislation prioritizes public investment in our infrastructure, expands wind and solar power, modernizes our energy grid, and promotes energy efficiency while avoiding fossil fuel-based projects to create a new infrastructure built on 21st century clean energy jobs. Finally, the legislation prioritizes the need to build infrastructure that can withstand natural disasters and cyber-attacks. As we face threats from our climate and enemies abroad, it is imperative that we can depend on our infrastructure at all times. This legislation reflects Raja’s belief in an America that provides good jobs to hard-working Americans, creates a clean energy economy for the 21st century, and prepares for any challenges we may face along the way.