US President Joe Biden waves as he participates in a CNN Town Hall hosted by Don Lemon at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati, Ohio, July 21, 2021. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
See what Biden said about the infrastructure vote
02:17 - Source: CNN
New York CNN Business  — 

Dozens of business leaders, including the CEOs of BlackRock, United Airlines and Macy’s, called on lawmakers Monday to swiftly enact the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that is stalled in Congress.

More than 140 executives signed the public letter to congressional leaders expressing strong support for the bipartisan infrastructure framework, calling it a “long awaited and desperately needed program to renew and rebuild our nation’s crumbling infrastructure.”

The letter, organized by the Partnership for New York City, stressed that modernizing and expanding America’s physical and digital assets are a “necessary foundation for our nation’s sustainable growth.”

The bipartisan infrastructure plan, if enacted, would ramp up spending on waterways, broadband networks, bridges and water systems.

“The framework that Congress and the Biden administration have worked diligently to craft reflects priorities shared by labor, business and state and local governments, as well as the American people,” the letter said. “It will leverage significant private investment and generate a strong return for the federal government.

‘Seize the moment’

The pressure campaign from the business community comes as Republicans and Democrats pointed fingers at each other as they struggled to reach a compromise on outstanding issues in the infrastructure negotiations. The two sides have failed to come up with a way to pay for the new investments.

The letter received support from executives representing a broad range of industries, from finance and manufacturing to travel, technology and restaurants. It was signed by the CEOs of Lyft (LYFT), Peloton (PTON), American Express (AXP), American Airlines (AAL), Nasdaq and Darden Restaurants (DRI).

“We urge you to seize the moment and act quickly to pass this bipartisan initiative,” the letter said.

The business community is alarmed that Washington bickering is threatening to sink the bipartisan infrastructure proposal, according to Kathryn Wylde, the CEO of the Partnership for New York City.

“They’re worried and they’re frustrated,” Wylde said in an interview on Tuesday.

‘Screwed up’

CEOs are “disgusted that the country is so politically screwed up that we can’t come together around solutions that everyone knows we need,” Wylde said.

In a statement late Monday, former President Donald Trump blasted “RINO Republicans that are so dedicated to giving the Radical Left Democrats a big and beautiful win on Infrastructure.” Trump promised that Republican voters “will never forget” the names of GOP lawmakers who support the infrastructure action.

Wylde said Trump’s statement sums up exactly why business leaders are frustrated about today’s political climate.

“It’s blatantly hypocritical since he has historically been a big promoter of infrastructure investments that support economic development. It’s crazy,” Wylde said. “That’s what people are so distressed about. There’s no effort to overcome politics.”