This piece was originally published in the April 2017 issue of electroindustry.
Joseph Eaves, Director, Government Relations, NEMA
On January 24, 2017, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) and top Senate Democrats unveiled a major infrastructure proposal, A Blueprint to Rebuild America’s Infrastructure and Create 15 Million Jobs. This plan requires a $1 trillion investment and, by their projections, would create more than 15 million jobs over the next 10 years.
The blueprint would provide billions for funding essential road and bridge improvement projects, repairing critical rail systems, modernizing Veterans Administration hospitals, rebuilding public schools, expanding port and waterway infrastructure, rehabilitating water and sewer structures, and building new transmission lines.
The costs would be covered in some part by closing tax loopholes used by both corporations and individuals. The breakdown of the funding is shown in the chart. The blueprint’s total cost is the same amount that President Trump has suggested for his plan. Details on the president’s plan have yet to be released.
|Reconstruct roads & bridges||$100B||Improve airports||$30B|
|Revitalize Main Street||$100B||Address ports & waterways||$10B|
|Expand TIGER||$10B||Build resilient communities||$25B|
|Rehabilitate water and sewer||$110B||21st-century energy infrastructure||$100B|
|Modernize rail infrastructure||$50B||Expand broadband||$20B|
|Repair & expand transit||$130B||Invest in public lands & tribal infrastructure||$20B|
|Vital infrastructure program||$200B||Modernize VA hospitals||$10B|
|Rebuild public schools||$75B||Provide innovative financing tools||$10B|
During his recent speech to Congress, Mr. Trump again called for the need for an infrastructure package. While Congress previously started hearings on the fixing the aging infrastructure, its members are hesitant to move forward until the president releases his own plan.
The need for an infrastructure package is one of the few policy areas in which Republicans and Democrats agree, but it will come down to how it is funded.