The day’s final panel was an exercise in putting their infrastructure solutions into practice in the current political climate. Our panelists demonstrated how to advance a comprehensive bipartisan infrastructure initiative through Washington’s myriad difficult obstacles. Drawing on the conclusions of the first two panels, the discussion looked at how once the private sector is factored in, financing opportunities are assessed, federal, state and local roles are clarified, that it may be that as little as $80 billion in federal government spending over seven to eight years could be the key to unleashing $1.5 trillion dollars in needed infrastructure investment activity across America in that same time period.
In short, this panel sought to provide a roadmap to finally achieving the progress that has been stalled for so many years in this area—practical advice and action items for motivated public and private sector leaders.
Chris Coons is the junior U.S. senator from Delaware. He is the ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Financial Services and General Service Subcommittee.
Jonathan Cowan is the president of Third Way.
John Delaney is the congressman representing Maryland’s 6th District. He serves on the Joint Economic Committee.
Deborah Gordon is the director of the Energy and Climate Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Damon Silvers is the director of policy and special counsel for the AFL-CIO.
Scott Smith is a resident fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Institute of Politics. He previously served as mayor of Mesa, Arizona and as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Full List of Discussants
Robert Atkinson, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
Robert D. Hormats, Kissinger & Associates
David Livingston, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Edward Luce, Financial Times
Jeff Madrick, Century Foundation
Will Marshall, Progressive Policy Institute
Robert Puentes, Brookings Institution
Edward G. Rendell, Brookings Institution
Michael Sargent, Heritage Foundation
Bernard L. Schwartz, BLS Investments, LLC
Felicia Wong, Roosevelt Institute