By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Congressman Mike Rogers (R) from Saks and Congressman Gerry Connolly (D) from Virginia both announced that they are forming a bi-partisan Congressional caucus which is focused on the nation’s infrastructure and the increasing use of public-private partnerships to build and maintain it.
Representative Rogers said in a written statement, “Solid infrastructure is a key driver of good jobs and a growing, competitive economy. We have an enormous backlog of infrastructure needs all across our country, but the Federal government simply can’t fund them all. Nor should Congress raise taxes. Building and maintaining infrastructure is an issue for both rural and urban areas, and I hope this caucus will help advance the debate in Washington and across the country.”
Rep. Rogers new Caucus is known as the Congressional Caucus on Public-Private Partnerships (P3s), or simply the Congressional P3 Caucus. Rogers says that he hopes the new group will help raise awareness of infrastructure issues and examine public-private partnerships across the country. Rogers says that the nation faces a “severe crisis” in infrastructure funding, and keeping these systems up to date in times of tight budgets is critical for growing our economy and creating new jobs for future generations.
Rogers said that he has seen examples of government partnering with the private sector at military installations in his district.
Congressman Rogers is a member of the Armed Services, Agriculture and Homeland Security committees. Prior to running for Congress, which was vacated by former Governor Bob Riley (R) when he left Congress to run for Governor, Rogers was a Alabama state legislator. Before running for the state legislature, Rogers was a county commissioner.
As a former local official, he also says he deeply sympathizes with state and local officials as they struggle to maintain and build new infrastructure when the federal budget for infrastructure improvements is decreasing.
The federal government is spending more money than ever before; but most of that growth is in entitlements and the size of the bureaucracy and sequestration means there is less for infrastructure improvements and maintenance.
Rep. Rogers says that the caucus will focus on all types of infrastructure, including defense, energy, technology, transportation and water, among others. Rogers and Connolly are seeking out other Members of Congress to join the Caucus.
Congressman Mike Rogers represents Alabama’s Third Congressional District. He is serving his sixth term in the U.S. Congress.