Indiana is the "Crossroads of America." If we are to continue to live up to this name we must continue to ensure that Indiana's roads and highways along with the rest of the country's pathways provide drivers with the ultimate experience. Let’s build roads that don’t pollute our water and leave a significantly smaller carbon footprint than traditional road structures; roads that last three times as long and take less time to build.
Here’s the bottom line: states cannot raise the tax revenue needed in order to fix nationwide infrastructure issues. The federal government must step in to assist state’s with planning, funding, and fixing America’s half century-old railroads, tunnels, and ports. When our infrastructure isn’t healthy...when ships and trucks can’t get to where they need to go because of inadequate ports and locks and dams and railways...when people can’t get to work because the railroad has shut down, our economy suffers. It’s very simple. This is why we must be several steps ahead of the weathering process and other forms of deterioration; and we need to invest in using better materials that don’t pollute our land, water, and air. Now, there are only two ways to grow an economy: an increase in employment or in productivity. With good infrastructure we will have both, bar none.
In 2018, the American Society of Civil Engineers stated that 35% of the United States transit tracks were not in good condition. They also reported that 1 in every 5 miles of highway were not in good condition; that’s more than 32,000 miles of our national highway system. Now, I can attest to that because I’ve hit a few potholes in my life and had to pay for the repairs. In the same year, the ASCE rated our bridges structurally deficient. They provided an overall estimated price tag of $4.5 trillion over the next 10 years. While I may not know exactly how we’re going to provide that kind of relief, as a future member of Congress can work with my colleagues to create legislation that makes things like the permitting process less restrictive, so we can get more projects started. One thing is for sure: If we don’t do something right now, we not only risk our economy, but more importantly, we risk the lives of those who access these roads and bridges every day. As your future U.S. Senator here’s what I intend to work on with regard to infrastructure:
Creating and supporting legislation that immediately provides funding for more efficient roads, railroads, tunnels, ports, river locks, dams, and bridges that also reduce pollution. Additionally, Indiana remains in dire need of transit infrastructure and drinking water infrastructure.
Creating and supporting legislation that expands broadband to rural areas; nearly 50 million people are identified as living in “rural” areas in the United States. Let’s make sure they all have access to an internet connection.
Creating legislation that aligns with the goal of creating a more efficient and less vulnerable power-grid. Right now, as it stands, the North American power grid is a mess. It’s old and undependable. It’s why every time a thunderstorm comes we cross our fingers and hope to God lightning doesn’t strike a power-outage. Power lines remain exposed to dangerous weather, susceptible to things like earthquakes and hacks. They become worn, fail and fall. In 2017, a power line fell on a 55-year-old man killing him instantly in California. But hundreds of deaths occur each year from electrocution generated by power line hazards. They waste energy and let’s just be honest, they’re an eye sore to our communities. It’s time we seriously work together towards something better. Let’s take a look at how we can better transfer energy to our homes. This type of change will not happen overnight, but we must start somewhere.
Better Homes and Building Construction. While the price of homes and buildings generally in America continue to rise, the materials they are made from continue to be the worst, oftentimes placing homeowners at the mercy of weather and deterioration (ex. mold). It seems that our race to the top, as far as a country in technology and innovation is being coupled with a simultaneous race to the bottom when it comes to purchasing the easiest, cheapest, and worst building materials ever. Why hasn’t any member of Congress addressed this? Contractors build these loathsome homes and then have the nerve to sell them at the highest price to unsuspecting homeowners creating what I believe is a system of fraud. To add insult to injury, many of these homes are purchased on land which are subject to erosion or other hazards. As a U.S. Senator, I intend to look closely into this practice happening across our country in the housing industry and introduce legislation that protects hard working Americans in search of a home.