Rep. Young Kim: Infrastructure is the Bridge to Job Creation and Economic Opportunity
Originally published in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune on July 15, 2021
Diamond Bar, CA – U.S. Representative Young Kim (CA-39) stressed the need for a targeted infrastructure package to meet communities’ needs and improve important infrastructure projects such as the 57/60 Confluence in California’s 39th District in an op-ed for the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
Rep. Kim is member of the Problem Solvers Caucus Infrastructure Working Group that created a bipartisan framework that closely follows the outline reached between the Senate and the White House.
Read her full thoughts in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune HERE or below.
The COVID-19 pandemic hit our community hard and impacted Americans of all walks of life. We saw that our supply chains and resources may not have been as robust as we had thought, as we were forced to rely on other countries for PPE and supplies. As we work to get our economy back on track, get people back to work and grow our 21st century workforce, we must put partisan preferences aside and come together to create policies that allow our nation to prosper and lead on the world stage.
Infrastructure is the bridge to economic opportunity and increasing our competitiveness against other countries. The way we can meet communities’ needs, create jobs, and promote future opportunities and security for families is by Congress passing a bipartisan infrastructure package that addresses long-term infrastructure needs.
I represent California’s 39th District which, like many communities across the nation, is home to infrastructure projects in need of modernization. The most prominent example is the 57/60 Freeway Confluence, which connects Orange, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties and facilitates local, regional, national and even international trade with nearby ports.
Unfortunately, the 57/60 Freeway Confluence is the second-highest truck accident location in Southern California. The road’s conditions jeopardize the safety of our community and slow down the flow of goods and services to the region, state and nation.
Improving the 57/60 Confluence would reduce traffic, enhance safety and ensure the flow of goods and services in this vital trade corridor that impacts our local, regional and national economies. That’s why fighting for the 57/60 has been a top priority for me since coming to Congress in January. I requested funding for the 57/60 project, advocated for the project with my colleagues, testified in front of the House Committee on Transportation and helped secure a $30 million INFRA grant for the project through the Department of Transportation.
Through a targeted bill focused on infrastructure, we can improve important projects impacting Californians like the 57/60 Confluence. As a member of the Problem Solvers Caucus Infrastructure Working Group, I helped put together a targeted, bipartisan framework to fix our infrastructure. This eight year, $1.249 trillion infrastructure proposal would work to address communities’ needs and move our economy forward. The framework has served as a guide to find a bipartisan infrastructure solution.
A targeted bill focused on infrastructure is also how we can create new jobs through meaningful projects. As Ranking Member of the Small Business Subcommittee on Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Workforce Development, I’m committed to helping create opportunities to get people back to work and our economy back on track. I heard from witnesses at a recent subcommittee hearing that we can create jobs if we focus on manufacturing and traditional infrastructure.
This is the right moment to come together and fix our crumbling infrastructure. I am encouraged that a bipartisan deal has been reached between the Senate and the White House and look forward to reviewing the details of the compromise package. This week, I joined the Problem Solvers Caucus calling for a standalone vote on this bipartisan framework. I hope President Biden will keep true to his word and proceed to consider the bipartisan infrastructure agreement, without using it as a bargaining chip for a bloated partisan package.
Partisan priorities should not surpass common ground.
Increasing our deficit spending or raising taxes through a partisan package will lead to more inflation and will not unite our country or get meaningful results for the American people. There is also still federal funding from past COVID-19 relief packages that has not been spent. Passing another $3.5 trillion at a time when we still have unspent funds will drive up debt and cost taxpayers even more.
Instead of throwing money at problems in search of a solution, let’s make investments that can make a difference. I’ll continue to do my part to fight for a meaningful, lasting infrastructure bill. Only by working together can we make it happen.