Senate Dems Propose Infrastructure Blueprint

Senate Dems Propose Infrastructure Blueprint

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$100BImprove airports$30B
Revitalize Main Street$100BAddress ports & waterways$10B
Expand TIGER$10BBuild resilient communities$25B
Rehabilitate water and sewer$110B21st-century energy infrastructure$100B
Modernize rail infrastructure$50BExpand broadband$20B
Repair & expand transit$130BInvest in public lands & tribal infrastructure$20B
Vital infrastructure program$200BModernize VA hospitals$10B
Rebuild public schools$75BProvide 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.

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