May 9, 2019
Plumbing manufacturers need an updated and modern infrastructure system to remain competitive in the global economy. Every day, Americans see the consequences of the underinvestment in our infrastructure. Roads are crumbling. Bridges are failing. Ports and waterways, airports and runways are clogged and congested. The electric grid is strained, our waterpipes are deteriorating, and we lack the pipelines needed to deliver reliable energy supplies. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 2017 Infrastructure Report Card found the national grade for infrastructure remains at a “D+.”
Message to Congress
Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI) urges our leaders in Washington to work in a bipartisan manner to provide long-term certainty and increased investments in federal infrastructure programs. Specifically, PMI calls for strengthened infrastructure investments and innovative funding including:
- Issuance of tax-exempt bonds (similar to Move America Bonds or Build America Bonds) that provide state and local governments and private-sector purchasers with tax credits to attract non-federal investment in public infrastructure.
- Establishment of a national infrastructure bank (initially capitalized by a federal investment) that would offer long-term, low-interest loans to finance projects that are larger than $100 million, achieve goals of regional or national importance, and are backed by an identified revenue stream that repays the loan.
- Expansion of the use of federal credit assistance programs – such as Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act – which supports large infrastructure projects and leverage additional private resources.
Drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure is critical to protecting our nation’s rivers, lakes, and oceans, and preventing public health crises. Continued congressional support is needed to ensure communities have the funding and resources to make investments to support essential water infrastructure upgrades. PMI urges Congress to fully support authorized funding for the following programs:
- Preserve and increase the Clean Water State Revolving Fund FY2020 appropriation. Since 1988, Congress has provided $45 billion in federal capitalization grants, which have generated more than $133 billion in clean water infrastructure projects.
- Fund the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund at the fully authorized level of $1.3 billion in FY2020. These capitalization grants have generated more than $38 billion in total funding.
- Fund the Water Infrastructure Finance & Innovation Act (WIFIA) program at or above its authorized level of $50 million in FY2020.
- Grants for schools to replace fountains installed before 1988 - $5 million authorized for 2020 and 2021.
Stephanie Salmon, PMI Federal Government Affairs