America’s Infrastructure Stuck with a D+ Grade

Today, the American Society of Civil Engineers released the “Infrastructure Report Card.” Unfortunately, America’s infrastructure again receives a D+ rating. Marlin Steel Wire Products President and Owner and National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Small and Medium Manufacturers Group Chair Drew Greenblatt described the impact our aging infrastructure system has on manufacturers. Greenblatt also authored an article, titled “Five Keys to Infrastructure Investment & Why It’s Critical for U.S. Manufacturing.”                                                                                                            

We can barely maintain our current infrastructure let alone invest in new and improved infrastructure that will bring us into the 21st century. For America’s drinking water infrastructure, which is a vital component in many manufacturing processes, the infrastructure grade did not improve and maintains a D rating, which is even lower than the overall grade. There’s no doubt about it: Americans should have access to at least a satisfactory drinking water system. 

Today, new House Chairman of the Water Resources Subcommittee Garret Graves (R-LA) looked at this issue in his hearing “Building a 21st Century Infrastructure for America: The Role of Federal Agencies in Water Infrastructure.” American Water Works Company Senior Vice President Kathy Pape described specific actions the federal government could take to improve our drinking water grade. She said,

“Amending the Internal Revenue Code to remove from the volume cap private activity bonds for public-purpose water and wastewater facilities would allow local communities to leverage private capital markets in combination with other finance mechanisms.”

To review American Water Works Company’s full testimony, click here.   

Manufacturers were encouraged that President Donald Trump committed to rebuild America’s infrastructure and ensure that it is “second to none.” Upgrading our water infrastructure system must be a serious priority in an infrastructure initiative. That is why the NAM’s infrastructure blueprint, “Building to Win,” specifically outlines commonsense reforms, such as lifting the cap on private activity bonds for water infrastructure.

Catie Kawchak

Director, Infrastructure, Innovation, and HR Policy at National Association of Manufacturers
Catie Kawchak is the Director of Infrastructure, Innovation, and HR Policy with the National Association of Manufacturers. Prior to joining the NAM, Catie was Representative Lou Barletta’s Senior Legislative Assistant and was responsible for managing all of his work on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Catie is a graduate of Calvin College and she has her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a minor in Economics.

Leave a Reply