Iowa Business Council Encourages Congressional Delegation to Support Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal
June 21, 2021
Michael Crumb, Business Record
Leaders of the 22 largest companies in Iowa have sent a letter to the state’s congressional delegation encouraging them to support a bipartisan plan that would spend $1.2 trillion on the nation’s infrastructure.
The Iowa Business Council sent a letter to Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, Republican Reps. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, Randy Feenstra and Ashley Hinson, and Democratic Rep. Cindy Axne, urging them to “act quickly and take advantage of the opportunity to enact meaningful infrastructure investment and reforms that will strengthen Iowa’s economy, create new business opportunities and jobs and enhance technology and broadband capabilities.”
The proposed plan would spend $973 billion on infrastructure over five years. A draft version of the plan shows that $579 billion would represent new funding over baseline levels. Continued over eight years, it would total $1.2 trillion for roads, bridges, water projects and other infrastructure, well short of the $2.3 trillion the Biden administration proposed earlier this year.
In its current form, the plan, introduced by 11 Senate Republicans and 10 members of the Senate Democratic caucus, would be funded by raising the gas tax, indexing it for inflation, charging fees on electric cars, increasing funding at the IRS to collect more owed taxes, creating public-private partnerships and repurposing existing federal funds.
In their letter dated June 17 and signed by Iowa Business Council Executive Director Joe Murphy, the group’s members said the proposed infrastructure plan presents an opportunity for Congress to “invest in our economy without raising taxes or enacting new, burdensome regulations that would stifle innovation and business expansion.”
The Business Council members said that achieving those goals in a bipartisan manner will increase optimism in the nation’s continued recovery from the coronavirus pandemic while modernizing the economy and increasing the country’s ability to compete globally.
“Investing in our future, while creating public-private partnerships, will usher in a new generation of ingenuity and advancements,” the letter read.