05/01/2012 12:57 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

How to Fund the Massive Infrastructure Investments That We Need Now

Rich Trumka is right.

The AFL-CIO president is calling for massive infrastructure investment. After decades of neglect, our infrastructure is crumbling as maintenance and replacement schedules get pushed back. Much of our aging infrastructure is beyond its useful life or at full capacity. We need to invest in repairing and renewing our crumbling infrastructure before disaster strikes.

There is a simple way to pay for needed investments which doesn't require taxing or borrowing. Congress has the power under Article 1, Section 8, of the United States Constitution to originate money, and Congress can use this power to pay for upgrading our infrastructure. We can provide direct investments and grants to the States to deal with their infrastructure needs

I've introduced a bill, H.R. 2990, The National Emergency Employment Defense Act (The N.E.E.D. Act), to allow our nation to fund this much-needed investment.

H.R. 2990 enables money to be issued by spending it into circulation on programs approved by Congress -- without taxing or borrowing. A priority is the repair or replacement of infrastructure, starting with the $2.2 trillion the American Society of Civil Engineers reports we need to spend over the next 5 years to make it safe. It also calls for grants to the States, to enable them to make investments in their own infrastructure renewal programs.

This investment in infrastructure is long overdue. This investment alone would create millions of well paying jobs across America. We simply can't afford not to do this. We need to act.

Learn more about the N.E.E.D. Act here.