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Congressman John Larson

Representing the 1st District of Connecticut

Larson Introduces the America Wins Act

November 1, 2017
Press Release
Invests $1 Trillion in the Nation’s Infrastructure, Paid for by Taxing Pollution

Washington D.C. - Today, Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) introduced the America Wins Act, a bill to invest $1 trillion in the nation’s infrastructure over 10 years, creating millions of jobs, and providing a boost to the economy and the middle class that is sorely needed. This bill is fully paid for by taxing harmful pollution, with a portion of the revenue reserved to be passed to consumers in the form of a tax rebate and dedicated funding to assist those in coal country who have been struggling.

“Infrastructure is not a Democratic or Republican issue, it’s an American issue.  At a time when the American people are tired of partisan gridlock, this is a solution to fix our crumbling infrastructure and put people to work rebuilding the country.  China has been investing upwards of 8.5% of GDP in infrastructure while the United States is investing a record-low of 1.4%.  This is simply unacceptable. Now is the time to invest here at home.  The America Wins Act offers a common-sense way to pay for a robust infrastructure bill without adding a penny to the national debt,” said Larson. “This is a jobs program for the middle class, it’s tax relief for consumers, it shores up the pensions of coal miners, and it improves the quality of the air we breathe. It is a win-win-win-win.” 

Original Cosponsors: Nanette Barragan, Earl Blumenauer, Mike Capuano, Salud Carbajal, Andre Carson, Steve Cohen, Peter DeFazio, Val Demings, Mike Doyle, Ruben Gallego, Alcee Hastings, Jared Huffman, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Donald Payne Jr., Lisa Blunt Rochester, Frederica Wilson

Endorsed by: American Society of Civil Engineers, American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA)

Larson first unveiled this legislation in August at an event held with transportation stakeholders in East Hartford

 

Summary of the America Wins Act


Rebuilding the Nation’s Infrastructure – $1 trillion

The American Society of Civil Engineers has graded the state of our infrastructure as a “D+”, according to their 2017 Report Card.  This is simply unacceptable.  In every state and every Congressional district, there are badly needed infrastructure projects that are stuck sitting in the pipeline because of a lack of funding.  This bill will make these types of projects a reality.  It will invest in all types of infrastructure, including:

$400 billion towards existing federal highway programs to go towards roads, bridges, and tunnels.  That is in addition to fully eliminating the $138 billion+ Highway Trust Fund shortfall.

$100 billion towards existing federal transit programs to go towards bus systems, commuter rail, subways, light rail and other forms of public transportation

$50 billion for innovative multimodal projects through the TIGER program

$50 billion for intercity passenger rail infrastructure

$30 billion for airports and our aviation system

$50 billion for sewer systems and safe drinking water

$64 billion for levees, dams, ports, and waterways

$30 billion for broadband deployment


Coal Country Revitalization – $50 billion

$5 billion annually will go towards assisting workers and communities that are heavily reliant on carbon-intensive industries such as the coal sector.  The Treasury Secretary will distribute the industry transition funds in consultation with the Secretary of Labor.  Eligible uses would include:

  • Worker retraining
  • Pensions
  • Health benefits
  • Abandoned mine reclamation
  • Economic development
  • Development of carbon capture, utilization, and storage technologies


Consumer Relief – $800 billion

All remaining revenue from the America Wins Act will be recycled back to the American people in the form of a tax rebate working and middle-class households and an Energy Refund for low-income Americans.  Low income households will receive a direct monthly payment to fully offset higher energy costs.  Middle income households will be eligible for a refundable tax credit.

Fully Paid for Without Increasing the National Debt

  • Puts price on carbon pollution in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by taxing coal, oil, and natural gas based on their carbon content.  The price would begin at $49/ton and increase annually 2% above inflation.  
  • A carbon price of this nature is anticipated to raise $1.8 trillion over 10 years[1], providing ample funding to invest in our infrastructure, provide consumer relief, and assistance those in carbon-intensive industries like coal.
  • All revenue would be deposited in the Build America Trust Fund within the US Treasury solely to be used for the purposes spelled out in the America Wins Act.
  • The tax would be levied upstream at the point it enters the economy at the mine, the wellhead, or the point of importation.  
  • A Carbon Equivalency Fee will be imposed on imports to ensure that foreign competitors play on a level playing field with domestic firms and exports will be exempt.  
  • It has the added benefit of reducing pollution that harms our air and water and contributes to a warming planet. By 2030, it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 39% relative to 2005 levels, significantly exceeding the United States’ Paris Climate Accords commitment emissions reductions that were projected to be achieved through the Clean Power Plan. [2]

 

[1] https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/tax-policy/tax-analysis/Documents/WP-115.pdf

[2] http://www.rff.org/files/document/file/RFF-IB-17-09.pdf

 

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