Press Releases

Congressional Black Caucus Adopts 21st Century Infrastructure Principles for the 116th Congress

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Washington, January 17, 2020 | comments
This week the Congressional Black Caucus officially adopted the principles of the CBC Infrastructure Task Force, which is Chaired by House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn. The Congressional Black Caucus has developed these infrastructure principles to help guide this Congress on building a stronger, more effective nation that works for every American—not just a select few. The 7 principles are as follows:

  1. Redefining Infrastructure.
  2. Providing Robust, Long-Term Federal Funding.
  3. Connecting People with Opportunity.
  4. Promoting Inclusion in Infrastructure Building.
  5. Building for Sustainability and Resilience.
  6. Planning Multi-modal Transportation Networks.
  7. Future-Proofing for All.

“The Congressional Black Caucus has been the conscience of Congress since its inception. Our collective voices over the past 48 years have helped pass key legislation to improve the communities and livelihood of African Americans and other marginalized people in the United States and around the world. The adoption of the 21st Century Infrastructure Principles is another example of the CBC’s commitment to building equitable communities for all,” said Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Karen Bass. 


“Infrastructure is more than just roads and bridges: it includes water, sewage, broadband deployment, and many more building blocks that affect the day to day livelihood of people that many of us in the Congressional Black Caucus represent,” said Majority Whip James E. Clyburn. “The principles that we released today reflect our constituents’ priorities for what should be included in any infrastructure bill that comes to the Floor of the House. I look forward to working with the relevant committee chairs to ensure that these principles are reflected in our infrastructure legislation.”


“Building our Nation’s 21st Century Infrastructure presents a unique opportunity for us to create a more inclusive technical workforce,” said Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson. “The high skilled jobs of the future can be accessed by our communities by providing support for technical training and learning practical skills we can use on the job. A skilled technical workforce that reflects the diversity of our Nation is critical to our continued grown and advancement. In my role as a senior member on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I will continue to fight to ensure our voice is heard and included in any infrastructure legislation.”


“Any infrastructure plan for the nation must reflect the principles of the Congressional Black Caucus. For too long, our constituents have disproportionately borne the adverse consequences of ill-conceived and dilapidated infrastructures and transportation systems,” said Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson. “This Congress has an opportunity to make critically needed investments and address ongoing inequities and the growing detrimental effects of climate change. As a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I will champion these principles and fight to ensure that our communities are not left behind during the legislative process. I commend Majority Whip Clyburn for his outstanding leadership and hard work.”


“As our country continues to grow, the need to focus on robust investment in infrastructure cannot be understated,” said Rep. Brenda L. Lawrence.“Our country is in dire need of across-the-board infrastructure investment. These guiding principles demonstrate that we must have an open mind and ensure that access to clean, safe, and affordable drinking water, as well as investment in removing dangerous toxins from our communities, are part of a larger conversation regarding infrastructure legislation.”


“Upgrading our infrastructure offers a real opportunity to invest in things that affect every person across this country, whether it is the public transit system in their city, the roads they drive on, or the pipes that deliver their drinking water,” said Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester. It is imperative that we develop climate-smart and resilient infrastructure, increase broadband access, ensure every family has access to clean drinking water, and build a nation that works for every person and every community. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the CBC, on the Energy and Commerce Committee, and on the other relevant committees to ensure that these principles are incorporated into any infrastructure package.”


“Building 21st century infrastructure will require long-term federal investment, fresh ideas and a commitment to transparency,”said Congressman Anthony Brown. “When we embrace bold thinking and innovative solutions we empower our communities, reduce traffic and generate durable economic growth. It’s time we build our nation’s infrastructure to work for everyone.”   


“Human capital is integral to the nation’s 21st century infrastructure. Investing in evidenced-based education and skills development initiatives for the American public, including youth, is essential to building an economy that works for everyone,” said Congressman Steven Horsford. Beyond an investment in physical infrastructure, we must also invest in social determinants of health solutions that mitigate inequalities that continue to persist in underserved urban and rural communities,” added Horsford.


“Building sustainable and resilient connectivity in our nation is more important now than ever,” said Congressman Hank Johnson. “In the midst of accelerating climate change, and less reliable infrastructure, this Congress must set its sights on developing, and passing, a comprehensive infrastructure package that is innovative, safe, and equitable. The strength of our communities, our economy, and our nation depends on it.”


Click HERE for a fact sheet with more information about the CBC Infrastructure Task Force principles.




The Congressional Black Caucus was established in 1971 and has a historic 54 members for the 116th Congress, including two senators. Together, the Caucus represents more than 82 million Americans. Congressmember Karen Bass (D-CA) is the chair of the caucus.

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