Infrastructure InvestmentOne major hurdle remains for the bipartisan infrastructure package that AEM and equipment manufacturers have been pushing hard for years to enact – passage in the U.S. House. This summer, the U.S. Congress and the White House negotiated a transformative bipartisan package that would invest historic levels of funding in physical infrastructure like roads, highways, bridges, waterways, and broadband. It would also reauthorize federal surface transportation programs for another five-year period.

AEM and equipment manufacturers played a leading role in pushing this package, eventually named the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), through the Senate with bipartisan support in late July.

Following an intense late-August series of negotiations between U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and nine moderate House Democrats, the IIJA has a viable path forward in the U.S. House. As a result, heading into September, there are two things to note:

  1. We have a deal. This vote will be separate from, and likely take place prior to, a vote on the $3.5 million budget reconciliation package that Democrats are pushing.
  2. We have a date. Leadership in the U.S. House has confirmed that a vote on IIJA will take place by Sept.27. Funding for federal surface transportation programs expires on September 30, so hitting this date is key.

Now, we just need the votes.

Here is what AEM is doing to recruit those votes and ensure the IIJA gets to President Biden’s desk for his signature as soon as possible, with bipartisan support.

Engagement with Lawmakers

The AEM Advocacy Team has met with dozens of House lawmakers and staff urging their support for the IIJA. With slim margins in the lower chamber, proponents of this bill cannot take any vote for granted. AEM has been working on its own, as well as with several infrastructure coalitions, including the Transportation Construction Coalition and the Americans for Transportation Mobility, to impress upon Democratic and Republican lawmakers along all parts of the political spectrum the importance of this bill to equipment manufacturers and to America's long-term economic competitiveness. The macroeconomic impact analysis commissioned by AEM from IHS Markit has been a powerful tool for explaining the job creation and productivity boost this level of investment in infrastructure would provide for the industry. Historically, infrastructure legislation has seen strong bipartisan support, and AEM is working to ensure that this trend continues with final passage of the IIJA.

Earned Media Campaign

AEM member company executives have taken to the opinion pages of their local newspapers, thanking key senators who voted for the legislation and representatives who held firm on the necessary, procedural votes in the House that took place just a few weeks ago.

So far, dozens of opinion pieces and letters to the editor have been published in newspapers coast to coast, with more continuing to be published. Most recently, Stanley Infrastructure’s Doug Redpath thanked Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) in the Oregonian for his vote, and encouraging the bill’s passage that would benefit Oregonians, who have seen commute times increase by seven percent since 2011, due to poor road conditions. And AEM’s Dennis Slater highlighted the merits of the bill in Iowa’s Quad City Times, South Carolina’s Greenville News, and Nebraska’s Grand Island Independent.

Grassroots Education

AEM’s tens of thousands of grassroots supporters have joined the fight for a comprehensive infrastructure investment and have committed to make 2021 the Year of Action by sending thousands of letters to their elected officials, engaging with them on social media, and participating in educational activities calling on Congress to get a bill passed this year is.

Help us build momentum and make your voice heard by visiting our state-of-the-art Action Hub. There we work together for a stronger equipment manufacturing industry, earn points by taking actions, engage in friendly competition, win prizes, and assemble more powerful ActionTron: a manufacturing-inspired avatar. Get started today by telling your representative to get the bipartisan infrastructure deal done for the American people!

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