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Reps. Fitzpatrick, Boyle, Community Leaders Call for Federal Infrastructure Investment

Nov 1, 2019
Press Release

Members Gathered at Cornwells Heights Station with SEPTA, Local Business, Labor, and Environment Leaders Highlighting Infrastructure Needs and Benefits of Bold, Bipartisan Action

Bensalem, PA – Today, Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) and Congressman Brendan F. Boyle (PA-02) stood together in a bipartisan call for passage of a comprehensive federal infrastructure package that supports union jobs, strengthens the middle class, and promotes environmental health and safety. Former local Congressman Ryan Costello and community leaders joined the two Members of Congress at the rail station abutting I-95 and the Delaware River to highlight the local needs and benefits associated with bold, bipartisan federal action.

“Investing in our roads, bridges, and energy grid is an investment in our nation, our economy, and our families,” said Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick. “I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to advance a bipartisan plan that brings each phase of infrastructure into the 21st century.”

“There is bipartisan agreement that our infrastructure is critical to our economy,” said Congressman Brendan Boyle. “Far too many steelworkers and other building trades in my district face layoffs due to low demand from the transportation and infrastructure sector. I am proud to fight for them in Congress, and to fight for legislation to boost demand for quality steel, iron, and other materials made here at home by American workers.”

"In Pennsylvania, Act 89 has demonstrated how transportation investment promotes mobility and powers economic growth and competitiveness," said SEPTA General Manager Jeffrey D. Knueppel. "SEPTA is now investing hundreds of millions of dollars annually in the transit infrastructure and vehicles that are driving our region. We are at a critical moment when a bold federal transportation program will enable SEPTA to build a system for the future that can meet customer needs and continue to drive economic growth."

In addition to lifting up the need for federal mass transit investments, speakers discussed the necessity of improving local drinking water systems and wastewater treatment, bolstering high-speed rail, modernizing schools and the state’s electrical grid, rebuilding roads and bridges, investing in local airports and ports, and increasing flood resilience.

“There is nothing partisan about safe roads, working pipes, and reliable transit,” said former Congressman Ryan Costello. “Pennsylvanians understand this. They know strengthening our infrastructure means strengthening families, unions, and businesses. They want results without partisan bickering. It’s only fitting that Congressman Boyle and Congressman Fitzpatrick are leading the call for transformative bipartisan action that is long overdue.”

“Investing in our infrastructure supports American workers, creates good jobs, and spurs economic growth in communities across the country,” said Patrick J. Eiding, President of the Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO. “Pennsylvania is the home of American steel, and Philadelphia has a proud union tradition. Our members stand ready to rebuild and renew our national infrastructure. An infrastructure bill is a good jobs bill, plain and simple. This is not just good for union members. It’s good for every single American. Our infrastructure needs to provide an opportunity to lift up the middle class that we cannot afford to waste. It’s time for bold action that advances our country, and American workers.”

“Most of us take infrastructure for granted in our daily lives – the systems that deliver clean water to our taps, prevent our neighborhoods from flooding, provide essential mobility and process our trash once it’s picked up from the curb,” said Cathy Farrell, Chair of the American Society of Civil Engineer’s 2018 Report Card for Pennsylvania’s Infrastructure. “Infrastructure moves our economy – when the power goes out, we’re not working, when the roads are congested people aren’t earning or shopping. As civil engineers, we urge an all-hands-on-deck approach that will involve state, local and federal governments to take action, to increase investment in infrastructure and to make it priority number one.”

“We at Riverfront North Partnership are big believers in the importance of investing in our infrastructure,” said Stephanie Phillips, Riverfront North Partnership. “Not only roads and bridges, but also multi-model trails, parks, and waterway restoration initiatives. These initiatives offer innovative solutions for alternative transportation, stormwater management, and flood resilience. We’re a proud example of how these infrastructure projects promote job creation and quality of life in our neighborhoods.”

“Both sides of the aisle recognize the need to repair and rebuild our infrastructure, and the issue remains a top priority for voters,” said Build Together Executive Director Helena M. Schwarz. “It’s time to do things differently, and finally get the job done. It’s time for communities to come together – to demand and inform federal action that is responsive to local needs, and worthy of the public’s trust. Congressmen Fitzpatrick and Boyle understand the power of infrastructure investment to deliver real benefits to every American – and the unique power of the issue to unite us. Pennsylvania is leading by example. It’s time for Washington to take note.”

The press conference was hosted by Build Together as the first stop in its nationwide listening tour growing grassroots support for federal infrastructure investments by elevating local impacts across the country. The tour launches on the heels of new polling and focuses group findings, which show an overwhelming majority of swing-state voters support a robust federal infrastructure plan, including 91% of voters polled in Pennsylvania.

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