Many Americans are left wondering what needs to be done to fix our nation’s gridlocked politics. While some have chosen to tune out the debate, we would suggest that the majority of Americans want their elected officials to sit down and solve their problems.
Bipartisanship isn’t always possible — on some issues, the two parties are simply too at odds. But on issues of national concern such as Covid and infrastructure, there’s no reason thoughtful leaders should not be able to shape compromises that both parties can support.
The business of American democracy is aligning people who don’t agree on everything so they can make progress where they have common interests.
The framework focuses on physical infrastructure, which many Republicans and Democrats agree on funding with no strings attached.
Meanwhile, a group of Democrats and Republicans in both the House and the Senate worked behind closed doors on a broad bipartisan approach to infrastructure. We believe it meets the priorities of our country and satisfies the concerns of leaders across the political spectrum who agree, first, that the nation’s infrastructure is in shambles, and second, that failure to invest cedes too much ground to our international competition, including China.
Our infrastructure deal will improve roads, bridges, highways, tunnels, public transit and rail networks to reduce traffic and delays. It will enhance our airports, waterways and ports to strengthen our competitive advantage in a global economy. It will provide greater access to high-speed broadband to make sure businesses can reach customers, students can learn online and Americans can connect to telehealth and job opportunities.
The framework also makes investments in clean energy, electric vehicles, and resiliency measures; a win-win for the economy and environment.
Both sides did not get everything they wanted, but the released infrastructure framework is a genuine showing of elected officials on both sides of the aisle coming together to help improve the lives of millions of Americans and make important investments to reshape the future of our nation.
The deal will not be as large as the White House originally suggested. It will be more robust than Senate Republicans proposed in their counteroffer. Individual members on both sides of the aisle, if they had a free hand to shape a bill exactly to their liking, might alter the details. But that’s how our democracy is designed to work. Absent finding common ground, nothing passes, and the American people lose.
Lo and behold, the impulse to work arm-in-arm — our collective determination to reject the temptation to vilify and castigate our colleagues across the aisle — resulted in something the nation so desperately wants: a bipartisan approach to big national problems. This is how democracy is supposed to work.
We cannot miss this historic opportunity to show the Americans that we can come together to deliver real results for the nation. It’s time to bring this infrastructure framework to the finish line.