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Edward G. Rendell, the Democratic former governor of Pennsylvania and Bill Shuster, a Republican former member of Congress from Pennsylvania, join host Gil Gross for a fascinating discussion on We The States, the official podcast of the National Governors Association, about how bipartisan efforts at the state level have successfully brought about meaningful investments in the nation’s infrastructure.

Gov. Rendell recalls attending the first Transportation Committee hearing chaired by Rep. Shuster: “The members spoke. And literally every member, whether they were Tea Party or progressive Democrat, they stood up and said, ‘I believe we’ve got to do something about infrastructure.’”

“Everybody wants to do something about infrastructure but nobody wants to pay for it.”

Their comments are timely as the Democratic-led House of Representatives and the Trump administration explore a bipartisan infrastructure bill that both sides say they want. The National Governors Association has been advocating for action on a bill that would invest in the nation’s long-term future through a partnership on roads, bridges, broadband and other physical assets.

Both Rep. Shuster and Gov. Rendell pointed to how states have led the charge to raising funds for infrastructure improvement with increases to the gas tax in 31 states. Gov. Rendell observed, “60 percent of our governors have put their money where their mouth is.”

Gov. Rendell also recalled how two leaders from across the political aisle worked together, “My successor Tom Corbett did something I tried to do but I couldn’t get the legislature to do it. And that was to raise the state gas tax. I came up and testified standing next to (Republican) Governor Corbett for the gas tax increase. I got the Democrats to vote for it, he got Republicans to vote for it.”  

Gov. Rendell added a message about infrastructure to politicians everywhere: “That November ... every single incumbent who voted for it won.”  

Listen to success stories of bipartisanship in state government that can serve as a model for leaders in Washington.

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