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Progressive Groups Urge Democratic Leadership to Reject Privatization Provisions of Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework


July 15, 2021
Emily Phelps |

Washington, DC — Today, Indivisible, along with more than 25 progressive organizations sent a letter to Democratic leadership, urging them to reject harmful pay-for provisions in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework that would privatize our public infrastructure. The groups, which include organizations like In the Public Interest, the Center for Economic and Policy Research, Take on Wall Street, and AFSCME, warn that including these provisions, like private financing authorities, public-private partnerships, or asset recycling would surrender public control of infrastructure projects, and would be antithetical to the goals of the overall package.

“We urge congressional Democratic leadership to reject privatization and private financing as a central feature of any infrastructure package and make real public investments in our infrastructure and in our communities through direct investment and through financing mechanisms that will not rely on private entities,” the letter states.

On June 24, the White House released a fact sheet detailing an agreement between President Biden and a bipartisan group of senators on the framework for a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package. The framework includes a number of investments that the signatories of this letter support. However, the framework also indicated portions of the bill would be paid for through mechanisms that rely on, incentivize, or encourage privatization of infrastructure, which the organizations believe works against the very goals that this package seeks to achieve. According to the letter, the organizations also believe Democratic leadership must reject these financing schemes in favor of real public investments.

As Congress drafts legislative language based on this framework, “We reiterate our support for significant federal investments to rehabilitate and upgrade our infrastructure, address the climate crisis, create millions of family-supporting jobs, and help communities thrive,” the letter continues. “A government-led effort to finance infrastructure projects with strong mandates in place to prioritize underserved communities, create green and good jobs, with a break-even and not a profit-maximizing mandate, could go far in getting us the infrastructure plan we need. It is critical that any legislative agreement to meet that need is not financed through means that undermine the goal of strong, accessible, and equitable public infrastructure and the creation of good jobs.”

The full text of the letter can be read here.

The full list of signatories is: Indivisible; In the Public Interest; Center for Economic and Policy Research; Take On Wall Street; AFSCME; Center for Popular Democracy; Social Security Works; Groundwork Action; Tax March; Progressive Democrats of America; Economic Policy Institute; Sunrise Movement; NYS Public Employees Federation, AFL-CIO; Working Families Party; Action Center on Race & the Economy; Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO; People’s Action; Public Citizen; Our Revolution; California Work & Family Coalition; Food & Water Watch; Economic Opportunity Institute; Family Values@Work; Partnership for Working Families; United for Respect; The Democracy Collaborative

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The Indivisible Project (501c4) is a social movement non-profit driven by a vision of a real democracy - of, by, and for the people. Indivisible began in 2016 as a viral guide to resisting Trump’s agenda. Today, the Indivisible movement is a network of thousands of local groups and millions of activists across every state. The Indivisible Project drives campaigns for bold progressive policies, lobbies Congress, and equips activists with tools to build lasting progressive power, everywhere. Together, we fight to defeat the rightwing takeover of American government and build an inclusive democracy.