Laying the Groundwork for Upgrading America’s Infrastructure

Jan 30, 2020

This week, the House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing to discuss paying for upgrades to our national infrastructure. The American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) applauds Committee Chairman Richie Neal (D-MA) and Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-TX) for focusing on this subject, and you can find our statement for the record for this week’s hearing here.

You might know that life insurers are a bedrock of financial and retirement security to millions of Americans, paying out $1.7 billion every day to American families through our products. We provide peace of mind for people who lose their spouses and we help people at all stages build secure financial futures.

What you probably don’t think about is that life insurers make long-term promises and our liabilities stretch over decades. Given this long-term commitment, we look for stable, lengthy investments in projects whose duration and return support the guarantees that we provide.

In addition to investing wisely, stringent state-based insurance regulation directs us to high-quality, long-term investments. Infrastructure investments are understandably an excellent match for our investment needs. They deliver predictable returns over decades.

Focusing on long-term value, life insurers serve policyholders and strengthen the nation and its economy. In fact, the $6.5 trillion invested by our industry in the U.S. economy—more than four times the amount that will fund the federal government in 2020–makes us one of the largest sources of investment capital in the nation.

And so, we encourage Congress in its work on infrastructure to consider our industry’s appetite for investing in infrastructure. Specifically, Congress could:

  • Ease the burden on federal, state, and local resources by prioritizing financing solutions like a permanent taxable direct payment infrastructure bond program.
  • Improve infrastructure project permitting via simultaneous federal agency reviews that include tracking and reporting requirements.
  • Encourage public-private partnerships across a range of projects, including roads, bridges, waterways, airports, energy, and hospitals.

Life insurers stand ready to work with Congress as it considers infrastructure financing.

Dianne Sullivan

Dianne Sullivan was Vice President, Federal Relations at the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI). Dianne was responsible for political analysis and advocacy regarding tax and international trade issues coming before the U.S. Congress. She advocated for the industry for over 18 years.