Rebuilding America's Infrastructure
Americans depend on our nation’s roads, bridges and schools every day. Our infrastructure was once the envy of the world, but we have allowed it to fall apart and we have fallen behind.
Today Americans drive on crumbling roads, bridges and tunnels to get to work and get their kids to school. Instead of having cutting-edge schools, students are in buildings that are unsafe and outdated. In the year 2018, we still have American families that don’t have access to high speed internet. And we have communities like Flint, Michigan that have unsafe drinking water and are not getting enough help from the federal government to replace their dangerous water and sewer systems.
We can and must do better. The American people deserve an infrastructure plan that will rebuild America and make sure our infrastructure is second to none.
It’s time for A Better Deal to Rebuild America – a bold, comprehensive plan to make a historic $1 trillion federal investment to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and create more than 16 million American jobs.
A Better Deal to Rebuild America, which is five times larger than President Trump’s rumored plan that has yet to be released, will boost local economies and generate billions of dollars in new economic activity without adding to the deficit. Our infrastructure plan will invest in American iron and steel and new American-made green infrastructure materials to support good-paying jobs, and ensure opportunities for small business owners. Our plan will ensure projects advance quickly, while maintaining key environmental protections and labor standards.
Rebuild America’s Infrastructure
Roads, Bridges & Transit:
Americans waste billions of dollars and gallons of gas each year stuck in traffic and from outdated and inefficient transportation options. Democrats will build world-class transportation systems that increase safety, lower costs for commuters and businesses and get goods to market quicker. We will achieve this by stabilizing the Highway Trust Fund and providing a major increase in federal investment to upgrade the 56,000 structurally deficient bridges across the country, improve road quality and improve access to reliable transit options.
Democrats understand that access to quality, affordable high-speed internet is no longer a luxury; it is a necessity for 21st century commerce, education, telemedicine and public safety. High-speed internet can unlock communities’ full economic potential, help rural areas attract new employers, improve health care outcomes and help students succeed. We will close the rural-urban divide and build out high-speed broadband in unserved and underserved areas in both rural communities and large cities.
Our energy-efficient railroads move more freight than ever and Amtrak’s ridership has never been higher, but our rail infrastructure, as it stands now, cannot meet this demand and match its projected growth. Democrats will work to improve our nation’s inter-city passenger railroads and high-speed rail to connect more communities and implement lifesaving Positive Train Control technology. This will not only reduce service disruptions across the country, but it will also make our rail service more convenient and safer for all passengers. Amtrak has identified over $30 billion in long-term construction projects that would improve rail infrastructure, meet public demand and create thousands of new jobs.
Safe, healthy and modern learning environments are key to all students’ success. Democrats will leverage federal, state and local resources to invest $107 billion in critical physical and digital infrastructure needs in schools while creating 1.9 million jobs.
Democrats will increase public investment in our airports and aviation system so Americans arrive at their final destination safely and on time, and with more money in their pockets. Airports Council International estimates that, over the next five years, U.S. airports will require total investment of $100 billion to address their capital needs and meet projected passenger growth and cargo activity. These investments will also improve today’s difficult passenger experience.
Ports & Inland Waterways:
America’s ports, inland waterways, locks and dams serve as economic lifelines for many communities. Allowing these assets to fall into disrepair is causing the United States to lose business to Canada and Mexico, and places our national security in jeopardy as more goods are brought over land through our borders. The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates we need to invest $92 billion in marine dredging and inland waterways to accommodate anticipated growth in waterborne traffic. Democrats will make sure money paid by shippers into the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) is used for its intended purpose. The $9 billion already collected is currently diverted to hide the size of the budget deficit.
Water is the lifeblood of any community – without it, there is no farming or ranching, no jobs or economic activity. Democrats will restore our historical commitment to addressing our drinking and wastewater infrastructure so that all Americans in both urban and rural areas have reliable access to safe and clean water. We will protect public health for all communities, especially the most vulnerable populations, and ensure these essential public services remain affordable to hard working American families.
Democrats will deliver cheaper energy prices for consumers and reduce the number of power failures by improving and modernizing our aging energy infrastructure so that it is secure, efficient and resilient. We will expand renewable energy infrastructure to create jobs of the future and lessen our carbon footprint. We will also strengthen our bioenergy capabilities and invest in energy efficiency retrofits and smart communities that help cut energy usage and combat climate change.
Infrastructure that Creates Family-Sustaining Jobs and Uses American Products:
Democrats support good, family-sustaining wages for workers by maintaining Davis-Bacon community-based wage standards and other worker protections, ensuring the freedom for workers to negotiate in the workplace and upholding whistleblower protections. We will invest in workers through robust training, provide job opportunities for veterans and level the playing field for small, women- and minority-owned businesses.
Democrats want to ensure that these critical investments in transportation and infrastructure projects use iron, steel and manufactured goods produced in the United States through strong Buy America provisions that help bring back American manufacturing jobs.
Build Sustainable, Resilient Infrastructure that Preserves Our Nation’s Natural Resources:
Our infrastructure funding shortfalls cannot be solved by gutting critical protections for clean air, water and wildlife. Democrats will work to restore and maintain the integrity of America’s waterways, restore contaminated land and protect the health of our communities, economy, environment and natural resources. Democrats support investing in stronger, more resilient transportation networks and public infrastructure to withstand rising sea levels, a changing climate, extreme weather and predicted seismic events, and adopting cost-effective, nature-based solutions, where appropriate. Democrats are committed to infrastructure projects that strengthen communities rather than dividing or isolating them.