DeFazio: Trump Infrastructure Proposal A Scam, Fails to Address Critical Infrastructure Needs
Today, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) released the following response to the release of President Donald Trump’s infrastructure proposal:
“For more than a year, we have been hearing from President Trump about a big, beautiful infrastructure proposal. Now, it turns out President Trump’s plan is embarrassingly small. President Trump’s plan slashes real Federal investments and shifts the burden to cash-strapped States and local governments. It would cut more than $168 billion from existing transportation and infrastructure programs to pay for Wall Street and foreign investors to toll our roads, and it would gut bedrock environmental, clean water, and clean air protections under the guise of speeding up projects.
“This is not a real infrastructure plan—it is simply another scam, an attempt to sell our nation’s infrastructure and create windfall profit for Wall Street while rolling back environmental protections. Democrats propose A Better Deal to Rebuild America – an infrastructure plan that is five times bigger than President Trump’s proposal. This proposal provides $1 trillion in Federal funding to rebuild our crumbling roads, bridges, transit systems, ports, harbors, airports and schools, extend high-speed internet to every family in America and put more than 16 million people to work.
“If we want to put America back to work, get America moving again, and make us more competitive in the world economy, we must strengthen the Federal commitment to our national transportation network by providing sustainable, long-term funding. I urge President Trump to work with Democrats to find sustainable solutions, rather than sell off our valuable infrastructure to the lowest bidder.”
BACKGROUND ON THE TRUMP TRANSPORTATION PLAN
- Doesn’t increase investment in our Nation’s infrastructure;
- shrinks Federal support and devolves responsibility for our Nation’s essential infrastructure to States and local governments;
- reduces access to Federal funding for urban and suburban areas;
- gives private entities access to scarce government funding;
- creates incentives to privatize infrastructure (e.g., authorizing States to toll all Interstate highways and privatize rest areas); and
- rolls back labor laws (e.g., Davis-Bacon Act), Buy America, environmental protections, and opportunities for diverse, small businesses to participate.
The Trump plan must be considered in the larger context of the President’s Fiscal Year 2019 Budget, which proposes to cut more than $168 billion of Federal highway, transit, Amtrak, and water infrastructure funding over the next 10 years, and privatize our air traffic control system, which will increase the deficit by $50 billion more. White House staff have suggested that cuts to Amtrak and public transit investment are intended to provide some of the budgetary offsets for the Trump infrastructure plan.
Therefore, the Trump plan, coupled with the President’s Budget, amounts to, little, if any, new Federal transportation and water infrastructure investment.