ASME Virtual Town Hall with Rep. Dan Kildee Discusses Infrastructure, Clean Energy, and the RISE Act

Mar 15, 2021

by ASME.org

ASME’s Executive Director/CEO Tom Costabile recently hosted a virtual Town Hall conversation with U.S. Representative Dan Kildee (MI-5), member of the House Budget Committee, the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, and the Ways and Means Committee. Rep. Kildee also serves as Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus as part of the House Leadership and messaging team. His district includes the city of Flint, Michigan, and he has been a leading advocate in Congress for protecting drinking water resources, revitalizing cities, and promoting infrastructure and workforce development issues.
 
In his remarks, Rep. Kildee emphasized the importance of infrastructure, noting that it impacts the nation’s capacity to produce and transport goods both domestically and internationally. Kildee noted that, unfortunately, many older industrial cities have had a difficult time making the transition into the 21st century global economy; these cities often have obsolete facilities or water, sewer, and transportation services sized for a much larger community. Residents of the area may also face technology disparities, lacking the access to broadband that would allow them greater participation in the economy. Rep. Kildee stated that these deficits must be addressed with a large-scale and long-term investment in infrastructure and that resilient infrastructure is critical to enabling the workforce to remain competitive in the global economy.
 
Turning to the Biden administration’s economic development and clean energy agenda, Rep. Kildee listed electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and battery storage as being priorities in clean energy that will support economic growth and environmental goals. In the 116th session of Congress, Rep. Kildee sponsored the Driving America Forward Act (H.R. 2256), which was introduced on April 10, 2019; however, the bill did not receive a vote. This bill would have expanded the tax credit for new plug-in electric drive motor vehicles and extended the tax credit for new fuel cell motor vehicles. In the Town Hall, Rep. Kildee affirmed his support for using tax credits to incentivize private investment in clean energy.
 
Rep. Kildee was also a cosponsor for the Research Investment to Spark the Economy (RISE) Act (H.R. 7308), which authorized $25 billion in supplemental funding for federal research agencies to provide support for research regarding COVID-19 or research disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Rep. Kildee called the bipartisan Act absolutely necessary and a “big step forward,” stating “our investment in university-based research not only returns us great value, but it also helps us in terms of the entire economy around higher education.” Universities benefit greatly from this research, and the nation as a whole benefits from the innovation, creativity, and new knowledge that comes out of these universities.
 
Following his remarks, Rep. Kildee fielded questions on autonomous vehicles, investment in rail transportation, and the use of small modular nuclear reactors.
 
ASME endorsed the RISE Act; read more about it here.
 

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