Enterprise leaders put assist behind $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal

Business leaders across the country are trying to get involved in the infrastructure debate, using whatever external power they have to get lawmakers to pass the $ 1.2 trillion bipartisan deal.

Why it matters: Axios interviewed a number of business leaders and asked them what they said, and everyone from UPS to Siemens to Raytheon seems to want the deal to be a success – especially since it does not involve any tax increases.

  • Sean Klimczak, Blackstone’s global infrastructure chief, said, “Renewed federal support in this area – combined with government, local and private investment – will create well-paying jobs and promote sustainable economic growth. We are proud to support this bipartisan framework. “
  • Brendan Bechtel, CEO of Bechtel, said in a statement: “We strongly support the scope of this bipartisan framework to ensure that our infrastructure meets the needs and requirements of our country and its dynamic economy for future generations.”
  • Barbara Humpton, CEO of Siemens USA, tweeted, “As a non-partisan infrastructure plan progresses, we are encouraged to see a vision for investing in the power grid.”

Axios Pro Rata author and Primack said that such support would make sense: “It’s all cake and not spinach.”

Between the lines: US economic policy has been in flux since the pandemic began and the transition between governments.

  • Business leaders want stability so they can plan their future.
  • Infrastructure is widely viewed as the most enduring policy, as building roads and bridges and fixing potholes has long been viewed as bipartisan – and incredibly popular with voters.
  • Many companies are also keen to speak out publicly on a political issue rife with voters after the setback some suffered after withdrawing political donations to some Republican lawmakers after the January 6 attack on the Capitol had.

Meanwhile on the hill, the emphasis on jobs has made lawmakers even more receptive to what business leaders have to say on the subject.

  • There are temporary jobs in infrastructure construction as well as longer-term job creation and economic growth.
  • It’s also something that lawmakers can go home and easily sell to voters.

What you say: The Business Roundtable, the voice of America’s top CEOs, will focus on the group of 21 Senators who negotiated the bipartisan deal, as well as the Problem Solver Caucus in the House of Representatives and other Senators.

  • An engagement plan is rolled out this week that includes the launch of radio and digital ads in 52 media markets as well as the District of Columbia to help support the deal.
  • It will run print ads in local newspapers, including the Delaware News Journal on Thursday.
  • It also activates its 235 CEOs and gives them call scripts to ensure key lawmakers hear from two to three CEOs.

What to see: As the reporting season kicks off in the coming weeks, expect corporate executives to take the opportunity to speak to reporters about the deal.

  • Raytheon CEO Greg Hayes said this month, “We are very supportive of the bipartisan efforts we have seen in Congress lately to find a sensible solution to how much we can afford to invest in infrastructure.”
  • UPS said in a statement to Axios: “A bipartisan agreement can accelerate the country’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic fairly and sustainably while improving personal mobility, increasing security and facilitating the movement of goods.”

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