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Responding to America’s Infrastructure Crisis

Aerial view of overlapping highways
Arent Fox’s Government Relations practice hosted a webinar focusing on America’s infrastructure crisis that featured special guest Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and experts from the American Society of Civil Engineers and Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy.

The podcast was hosted by former Senator Byron Dorgan, former Congressman Phil English, and Government Relations practice co-leaders Jon Bouker and Dan Renberg.

Rep. Norton, the House’s Chair of the Highway and Transit Subcommittee, discussed the urgent need for major infrastructure legislation in this Congress. With the President and Congress currently in negotiations to find a bipartisan plan that can work, Rep. Norton shared her insight on the likelihood of making progress and her strategies for getting it done. One such strategy is to construct all future roads in a manner that facilitates easy intermodal transportation, which could be a key to sustainable urban infrastructure. As Congresswoman Norton pointed out, the last time the country was faced with such an infrastructure crisis, it took a recession to get things done.

Professor Judy Feder, from the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University, shared her perspective on current infrastructure conditions from a policy standpoint. She emphasized that solutions to the infrastructure crisis, which should be a bipartisan issue, are obstructed by conflicting viewpoints on how to match funding needs – widespread repairs and even total reconstructions – with funding sources.

Emily Feenstra, Managing Director of Government Relations at the American Society of Civil Engineers, joined the discussion to explain why the US received a D+ grade for the state of its infrastructure during the ASCE’s 2017 annual assessment.

For the full webinar recording, click here.

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