Senate Democrats’ new Jobs & Infrastructure Plan for America’s Workers would invest roughly $1 trillion in public transit, roads, schools, water treatment plants, housing, and other critical infrastructure to create better-paid jobs, boost broadly shared economic growth, and improve Americans’ quality of life. Unlike President Trump’s infrastructure plan, it would go a long way toward restoring the federal government’s role as a full partner with states, localities, and the private sector in building and maintaining the nation’s infrastructure.
The condition of infrastructure greatly affects the economy’s ability to function and grow, and there’s a real unmet infrastructure need across the country — as anyone who uses our roads or airports can see. States have stepped up to help address these needs as federal support has lagged; for example, over half the states have raised gas taxes in the last four years to improve roads and bridges. While Republicans and Democrats in Washington agree that the federal government needs to do more, they have very different approaches.
Here are some highlights of the Senate Democrats’ plan:
By contrast, President Trump’s infrastructure plan is a mirage. It claims to turn $200 billion in “new” funds into “$1.5 trillion” in new infrastructure investment. But the $200 billion figure ignores the fact that the 2019 Trump budget overall would reduce federal infrastructure spending over the long run by cutting Highway Trust Fund spending and cutting various programs, including those that support mass transit and affordable housing. Further, the $1.5 trillion number simply assumes that state and local governments and the private sector will provide $1.3 trillion in support.
The Administration says that private investment will be a big part of its plan, with investors providing funding through public-private partnerships that generate revenue through tolls, fees, or other sources. This approach would likely leave out some areas where new infrastructure investment is most needed, such as improving school buildings and repairing infrastructure in low-income communities – needs that the Senate Democrats’ plan would directly address.
Moreover, the Senate Democrats’ plan recognizes that upgrading infrastructure is a far better use of resources for growth, wages, and jobs than a massive tax cut for the wealthiest among us, so it rolls back some of the misguided aspects of the new tax law to offset its cost.
|Senate Democratic Jobs & Infrastructure Plan for America's Workers|
|Proposed investments over ten years (in billions of dollars)|
|Roads & Bridges||140|
|Ports and Waterways||30|
|Energy and Technology||120|
|Water and Sewer||115|
|Natural Disaster Preparedness||25|
|National Parks and Forests||15|
|Tribal Infrastructure (add'l)*||10|
|Health (Department of Veterans Affairs)||10|
Notes: Excludes Highway Trust Fund solvency baseline adjustment.
*Tribal grants are in addition to funds designated for tribal areas in highway, housing, and disaster preparedness grants.