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Klobuchar holds hearing to address aging transportation infrastructure

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, vice chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, held a hearing Wednesday on addressing America's infrastructure challenges.

The hearing focused on policies to strengthen the country's aging infrastructure while boosting the economy and promoting the long-term competitiveness of American businesses. According to a recent analysis, America's infrastructure has fallen in rank from 6th in the world to 25th in just the past 5 years. The hearing comes days after Klobuchar hosted the newly confirmed U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in Minnesota where they discussed the state's transportation needs. Klobuchar invited former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell, co-chair of Building America's Future, to testify at the hearing.

"Our 21st century economy demands a 21st century infrastructure that helps our businesses to export, innovate and get their goods to market," said Klobuchar. "We must commit to rebuilding our nation's aging infrastructure in a way that boosts our economy and lays the foundation for long-term growth and competitiveness."

"Infrastructure is an economic driver and has the added benefit of creating long-term quality jobs that can't be outsourced. It improves the quality of our lives and enhances our economic competitiveness. There is no better time to invest in America's future," said Gov. Rendell.

Aging transportation infrastructure is expected to increase the cost of doing business in America by an estimated $430 billion in the next decade, Klobuchar said, and she called for policies that ensure our nation's infrastructure is safe, strong and efficient.

In 2011, Klobuchar introduced the Rebuild America Jobs Act, which would have provided $50 billion for infrastructure projects, and create a national infrastructure bank to provide public-private financing for transportation, water, and energy projects. In the aftermath of the Minneapolis I-35W bridge collapse in August 2007, Klobuchar worked with other members of the Minnesota delegation to swiftly secure more than $250 million to build a new bridge that opened ahead-of-schedule in September 2008. Klobuchar cited this collaboration as a model for putting politics aside to boost safety and efficiency.