Congressman Brian Higgins spoke on the House Floor to raise awareness among his colleagues about the consequences of failing to make adequate investments in our nation’s infrastructure.

Higgins cited a Washington Post article published last week drawing attention to the nation’s crumbling port infrastructure, in addition to the need for infrastructure investments to roads, bridges, transit, and airports.

Statistics about the effects of our aging infrastructure are alarming: a lack of investment in port infrastructure could account for $270 billion in export losses by 2020; likewise, air traffic delays cost the economy $33 billion a year, while freight bottlenecks could cost the American economy as much as $200 billion per year.

At a time when China is spending 9% of its GDP on infrastructure and Europe 5%, Congressman Higgins argues that the United States should be investing more than its current level of 3%. Higgins has introduced H.R. 4352, the Nation Building Here at Home Act, which calls for a $1.2 trillion investment in U.S. infrastructure – including roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports, and airports over the next 5 years.

The text of Congressman Higgins’ remarks is below:

Mr. Speaker,

This week the Washington Post reported that unless America doubles its spending on port infrastructure, we are on track for export losses of $270 billion by 2020 because our ports do not have sufficient capacity. That translates into a $697 billion drop in the American economy and a loss of 738,000 jobs.

But ports are not the only area where our anemic infrastructure investment has become a drag on the American economy. We will experience $336 billion in lost growth over the next five years because of our inability to move goods and people efficiently.

Congress just passed a bill to spend $52 billion a year on roads and bridges in America –all we can afford, according to some Members of Congress. But somehow we found money to spend $150 billion rebuilding the roads and bridges of Iraq and Afghanistan.

I have introduced a bill, a 5-year, $1.2 trillion investment in roads and bridges, ports, transit, airports because it is time to do some nation building here at home.