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Let’s Put Infrastructure First

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In and around the nation’s capital, most talk about building involves a single, questionable structure. In D.C. , it’s wall-to-wall wall.

The 3-week government shutdown was driven by an inability to fund the proposed border wall, and while a second shutdown has been averted, the president has declared a national emergency that will undoubtedly dominate the attention of the administration and its opponents. All of this  will almost surely take the focus away from other priorities.

Like infrastructure.

In his late-January State of the Union address, President Trump called for Congress to come together to “give us the safe, fast, reliable and modern infrastructure our economy needs and our people deserve.” He called for the two houses to produce a bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion in spending.

Unlike with the proposed wall, there’s little disagreement from either side of the aisle that investment in our roads, bridges, ports and other areas is not just a sound idea, but desperately needed.

The president repeated his suggestion to create a public-private partnership to address the needs. And he called for more rapid permitting processes to allow the work to get done quickly.

Alas, since his appearance at the House of Representatives, those goals have taken a backseat to the partisan spat over the wall. It would serve the metals supply chain well if we could help bring the conversation back to something we can all agree on.