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LIUNA Action Network

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President Obama Build America Investment Initiative Welcome But No Substitute for Long-Term Highway Bill

Washington, D.C. (July 17, 2014) – Terry O’Sullivan, General President of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – made the following statement today regarding President Obama’s memorandum to launch the Build America Investment Initiative:

LIUNA looks forward to working with the Administration on its plan to use public-private partnerships as a supplemental investment in our nation’s infrastructure.  LIUNA members have a strong interest in the success of public-private partnerships for infrastructure as those who build our country and as investors. We cannot stress enough the importance of ensuring that public-private partnerships are structured in a way that leads to high road job creation rather than a race-to-the-bottom. LIUNA pension funds have close to $1 billion invested in private equity, real estate and infrastructure funds that are helping to provide funding for infrastructure projects throughout the U.S. and Canada. 

Any private sector resources that can be put to bear on our nation’s infrastructure are welcome; however, these approaches remain a supplement for public investment not a substitute. The National Council of State Legislators estimates that only twenty percent of transportation projects can likely be completed via a public-private partnership.

Without a long-term sustainable investment through reauthorization of a multi-year Highway Bill, our nation’s infrastructure will continue to decline, jeopardizing our safety, good jobs and our economic competitiveness.   One in four of our nation’s bridges will remain deficient or obsolete. Poor road conditions will continue to contribute to a third of traffic fatalities – about 10,000 lives needlessly lost each year.

LIUNA will continue to urge members of Congress to have the courage and conviction to address the need for long-term investment in America’s crumbling infrastructure through a long-term full investment Highway bill.