When we founded UBI in 2017, we set out to prove our concept with a test case that would demonstrate our ability to bring Republicans and Democrats together to benefit Americans in some of the poorest districts. Our team worked with a diverse array of lawmakers to identify an innovative funding solution and build a unique coalition of support rooted in common needs. We succeeded in getting leaders from both sides of the aisle that represented the bases of both parties to sponsor legislation that remains viable today.
Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) introduced the Generating American Infrastructure and Income Now (GAIIN) Act (HR 6104) on Jun 14, 2018. It quickly became bipartisan legislation sponsored by Conservative and Congressional Black Caucus members. The bill would authorize the Department of Agriculture to sell off distressed assets and use half of the proceeds to fund infrastructure investments in distressed urban and rural communities living below the poverty line and half to help pay down the national debt.
It was co-sponsored by Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA), Rep. Lacy Clay (D-MO), Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC), Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL), Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV), Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), and Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH). The bill was well-recognized as a breakthrough in bipartisanship:
“The GAIIN Act is an example of an alternative solution that deserves consideration to achieve our shared goal for a better American infrastructure in our communities most in need.”— House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)
“Bringing together a rarely-seen bipartisan coalition of both Freedom Caucus and the Congressional Black Caucus members, the bill provides both conservatives and liberals with political wins. In doing so, it seeks to bridge the partisan divide to foster infrastructure projects and job creation in America’s most hardscrabble areas.” —— Wendell Stemley, President of the National Association of Minority Contractors (NAMC)
The GAIIN Act is proof that we can find more that unites us than divides us if we can put partisanship aside. Since then, United By Interest has been proud to help our clients use this same formula to get things done in Washington and make our country a better place for everyone.