Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) Delivers Keynote on Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure During ASME’s Policy Impact Event

Jun 7, 2021

by ASME.org

As part of the inaugural ASME Policy Impact, Tom Costabile, ASME’s Executive Director/CEO, introduced Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-1), noting that he has been a leader on infrastructure issues and is advocating for agreement on a bipartisan infrastructure investment package. Rep. Fitzpatrick has consistently pushed innovative ideas for sustainable transportation and infrastructure investment policies, which aligns with ASME’s own priorities.
 
Rep. Fitzpatrick shared that Congress is working feverishly to get to a compromise on a comprehensive infrastructure package and that he is focusing on three main areas in his push to promote a bipartisan bill. Along with his colleagues on the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, Fitzpatrick is promoting an infrastructure bill that addresses these three areas:
  1. Bipartisan agreement on what the infrastructure bill should encompass (already accomplished).
  2. Scope of the funding.
  3. “Pay-fors,” meaning how the bill will be financed. 
When spending taxpayer dollars on infrastructure, Rep. Fitzpatrick advocates for a wise investment that will generate additional private investment. He believes a good infrastructure bill will promote public-private partnerships and spur additional economic growth. The infrastructure package that Rep. Fitzpatrick is working on with his colleagues in the Problem Solvers Caucus is meant to be an alternative package to what the Administration is offering. If taken up in Congress, the White House’s infrastructure plan will likely be brought to the House floor through the process of reconciliation, which is done to skirt the minority party and pass the House without the need for bipartisan votes. Rep. Fitzpatrick is hoping to offer this alternative bill to give Members of Congress a bipartisan alternative bill to openly debate on the House floor. Regardless of the process, Rep. Fitzpatrick is confident that some infrastructure bill will be passed, which means robust investments in engineering and research.
 
In a question to the Congressman regarding investment in electric vehicle infrastructure, Rep. Fitzpatrick shared his view that the U.S. needs to have an energy and electrical grid that can sustain the significant increase as we migrate away from traditional vehicles to electric vehicles. He also stated that Congress needs to think seriously about the user fee since the gas tax does not apply to electric vehicles. The bill he is working on moves away from the gas tax and towards carbon pricing. Rep. Fitzpatrick’s bill is the only bipartisan carbon pricing bill in Congress today. He ascribes to the belief that you should tax things you want less of, not things you want more of, and would earmark the money to infrastructure, which will spur private investment when done right.
 
Rep. Fitzpatrick also addressed the labor shortage that the nation is facing as it emerges from the economic downturn associated with the pandemic. Rep. Fitzpatrick frequently visits the high schools and community colleges in his district to speak with students about the opportunities that exist in emerging, in-demand technology and engineering fields. He encourages the students he speaks with to take a disciplined path and work hard and shares his belief that if they do so, there will be something great waiting for them on the other side.
 
Lastly, Rep. Fitzpatrick discussed manufacturing, noting that the pandemic has shown how the U.S. supply chain must change going forward. He discussed the Made in America Act, which would reconstitute the supply chain of critical materials back to the United States. The bill also pushes the government to source materials and supplies from U.S. manufacturers, providing financial incentives for keeping a robust domestic supply chain.
 
A full recording Rep. Fitzpatrick’s remarks will be made available on ASME’s YouTube page in the coming days and a link will be provided in future editions of the “ASME Capitol Update Newsletter.”
 

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