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Democrats discuss new $1 trillion infrastructure plan

Today’s proposal continues the conversation on re-investing in nation’s transportation systems

Construction crew working on roadway Shutterstock

Senate Democrats will jump into the fray over infrastructure spending today, according to a New York Times report, by announcing a $1 trillion plan to invest in roads, waterways, sewer systems, railways, and airports. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, pitched the plan on the USA Today Facebook page earlier this morning as part of a wide-ranging Facebook live discussion.

He said Democrats are willing to work together with President Trump on projects that share our values.

“From our largest cities to our smallest towns, communities across the country are struggling to meet the challenges of aging infrastructure,” Senator Schumer said in a prepared statement. “Our urban and rural communities have their own unique set of infrastructure priorities, and this proposal would provide funding to address those needed upgrades that go beyond the traditional road and bridge repair.”

The Democratic plan will call for spending across a wide swath of projects: $180 billion to rail and bus systems, $65 billion to ports, airports and waterways, $110 billion for water and sewer systems, $100 billion for energy infrastructure, and $20 billion for public and tribal lands, according to the Times.

The introduction of the Democratic plan appear to be a response to the President’s comment in his inaugural address about infrastructure, where he said, “We will build new roads and highways and bridges and airports and tunnels and railways all across our wonderful nation.”

The Democratic plan focuses on direct federal spending, in contrast to President Trump’s plan, though the details are far from finalized.

President Trump made infrastructure investment a key part of his economic plan, and has previously stated his desire to invest $1 trillion in a nationwide infrastructure plan, predicated in large part on encouraging public-private partnerships, providing tax breaks, and reducing regulations. He recently named two New York real estate developers, Richard LeFrak and Steven Roth, to a “council of 15 to 20 builders and engineers” who will oversee the program, which has received lists of potential projects from roughly forty states so far which are considered priority projects that could be moved upon quickly once more details are finalized.