Exclusive–Tom Reed: ‘Combination of Creative Ideas’ Will Solve Infrastructure Problem

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Lawmakers continue to search for a potential bipartisan solution, as a “wind of opportunity” emerged for Democrats and Republicans to agree upon a major revitalization of American infrastructure.

As President Donald Trump and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced they have agreed upon a potential multi-trillion dollar infrastructure package, many lawmakers continue to search for potential funding methods that could gain the support of Republicans and Democrats and  pass through Congress with Trump’s support.

Many have dismissed calls to raise the federal gas tax, which would serve as a regressive means to tax lower-income Americans, and Republicans have rebuked Democrat calls to repeal the Trump tax cuts as another method to fund American infrastructure.

Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY), the co-chair of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, agreed with Breitbart News Sunday guest host Matthew Boyle that repealing the Trump tax cuts would amount to a “non-starter” and dismissed calls to raise the gas tax to fund the bipartisan infrastructure package.

Congressman Reed said that a “combination of creative ideas” would help fund an infrastructure package. The New York Republican also said that the Generating American Infrastructure and Income Now (GAIIN) Act, which would require the government to sell off its distressed assets, could serve as part of the infrastructure package.

Reed told Breitbart News Sunday, “I think you have to look at this from multiple angles. There’s not going to be one source of revenue that is going to bridge this gap, there’s not going to be one source of bonding that is going to do this, it is a combination of creative ideas, when it comes to public-private partnerships, utilizing assets that are not being utilized to the fullest extent, and trying to develop a revenue line that’s based on that user fee model as you use the infrastructure, you pay for it as you go.”

“You can do it without raising the gas tax or undoing what we worked so hard to do in regards to tax reform,” Rep. Reed added.

Reed’s remarks mirror a similar contention from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who said that the GAIIN Act could serve as part of a greater infrastructure deal, which includes private-public partnerships and infrastructure reform.

Wendell Stemley, the president of the National Association of Minority Contractors (NAMC), wrote an op-ed for the Hill, backing the GAIIN Act as a bipartisan solution to improve America’s infrastructure and create jobs across rural and inner-city districts. GAIIN has the backing of members of the House Freedom Caucus as well as the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).

Stemley wrote that the GAIIN Act is “undoubtedly innovative in its approach to public policy, breaking the norms of partisanship, and providing a fresh take on a problem that has plagued the United States for decades.”

“While having one’s cake and eating it too is typically seen as impossible, by initiating the sale of distressed debt, the GAIIN Act demonstrates that there is indeed truth in this idiomatic proverb – fixing a large swath of America’s infrastructure problems all while reducing America’s financial liabilities by immense proportions,” Stemley said.

“America’s underprivileged communities are desperate for change. Ultimately, GAIIN Act may very well be the catalyst they need to succeed,” Stemely concluded.

Congressman Reed said that although the 2020 presidential election looms ever larger over the political atmosphere, he said that there remains a “window of opportunity” for Republicans and Democrats to agree on a bipartisan infrastructure package.

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.


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