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Dear Dems: Don’t Be A Pothole On The Bridge To Infrastructure Solutions

- February 12, 2018

Will Democrats Follow Through On Their Promise To Work With President Trump On Infrastructure Solutions?


TOP TAKEAWAYS

  • Today, President Trump announced his long-term infrastructure plan to improve the nation's crumbling infrastructure and boost the economy while doing so.
  • Even some of the most far-left of Democrats have expressed a desire to work with President Trump to improve the nation's infrastructure.
  • Many Democrats have acknowledged in the past a need for a bipartisan long-term legislative solution to improve the nation's crumbling infrastructure.
  • Will Democrats come to the table and work with President Trump, or will their past support for infrastructure solutions take a back seat to the obstruction and resistance movement?

Today, President Trump Announced His Plan To Rebuild America's Infrastructure

Today, President Trump Will Unveil His Plan For Infrastructure Plan Which Seeks Improvements Over A Period Of Ten Years. "U.S. President Donald Trump plans to unveil details of his long-awaited plan to generate at least $1.5 trillion in infrastructure improvements over 10 years next Monday, a White House official said on Tuesday." ("Trump To Unveil Infrastructure Plan Monday: White House Official," Reuters , 2/6/18)

  • In This Plan, President Trump Will Issue Guiding Principles To "Boost Infrastructure And Call For Cutting Regulatory Burdens To Speed Approval For New Projects." "Trump will issue 'infrastructure principles, which will outline a plan' to boost infrastructure and call for cutting regulatory burdens to speed approval for new projects, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity." ("Trump To Unveil Infrastructure Plan Monday: White House Official," Reuters , 2/6/18)

The Plan Is Slated To Have $100 Billion Go To Incentives For Local Government Entities With Another $20 Billion To Go To "Projects Of National Significance." "Half of the new federal money, $100 billion, would be parceled out as incentives to local government entities. An additional $20 billion would go toward 'projects of national significance' that can 'lift the American spirit,' such as New York's Gateway tunnel under the Hudson River." (Lydia DePillis, "Trump To Unveil Infrastructure Plan," CNN , 2/11/18)

The Plan Is Also Expected To Appropriate $50 Billion For Rural Block Grants For Rural Transportation, Broadband, Water, Waste And Power Projects. "Another $50 billion is earmarked for rural block grants, most of which will be given to states according to a formula based on the miles of rural roads and the rural population they have. States can then spend that money on transportation, broadband, water, waste and power projects." (Lydia DePillis, "Trump To Unveil Infrastructure Plan," CNN , 2/11/18)

IN THE PAST, DEMOCRATS HAVE AGREED WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP THAT INVESTMENTS IN INFRASTRUCTURE ARE IMPORTANT TO AMERICANS

Democrats Have Claimed They Are "Ready And Willing" To Work With President Trump To Rebuild America

In January 2017, Minority Leader Pelosi (D-CA) Stated That In Regards To President Trump Supporting Human Infrastructure "We [Democrats] Will Work To Find Common Ground." "When President Trump talks about keeping America number one by putting our workers first and defeating ISIS, we're all with him. When President Trump talks about investments in our human infrastructure and helping Americans balance work and family, we will work to find common ground." (Press Release, "Pelosi Statement On President Trump's Inaugural Address," Rep. Nancy Pelosi , 1/20/17)

In January 2018, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) Said "On This Issue, Democrats Agree With The President: America's Physical Infrastructure Is The Backbone Of Our Economy, And We Have Fallen Behind. If We Do Not Quickly Repair And Modernize Our Infrastructure, We Risk Ceding The Next Century Of Global Economic Leadership To China Or India." "When President Trump addresses the nation in his first official State of the Union on Tuesday night, he should urge Congress to deliver a substantial investment in our nation's infrastructure. On this issue, Democrats agree with the president: America's physical infrastructure is the backbone of our economy, and we have fallen behind. If we do not quickly repair and modernize our infrastructure, we risk ceding the next century of global economic leadership to China or India." (Chuck Schumer, Op-Ed, "Chuck Schumer: What I'm listening for in Trump's State of the Union," Washington Post , 1/29/18)

In January 2017, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) Said "I Don't Think It Makes Sense To Say, 'No, We're Not Going To Work In Any Way, In Any Form With The Trump Administration' Trump Has Talked Appropriately About Collapsing Infrastructure." "Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is open to working with President-elect Donald Trump on rebuilding the country's infrastructure and reforming the United States' trade policies. 'I don't think it makes sense to say, "No, we're not going to work in any way, in any form with the Trump administration,"' Sanders said Thursday on MSNBC's 'Morning Joe.' 'Trump has talked appropriately about a collapsing infrastructure ― our roads, bridges and water systems,' he continued. 'If he is prepared to work with us on rebuilding America's crumbling infrastructure and creating millions of jobs, and doing it in a way that doesn't privatize our infrastructure or give tax breaks to billionaires, yes, let's work together.'" (Daniel Marans, "Bernie Sanders Says He Can Work With Trump On Infrastructure And Trade," Huffington Post , 1/12/17)

In November 2016, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) Said When President Trump Talks About Rebuilding Infrastructure "Then Count Me In. I Will Put Aside Our Differences And I Will Work With Him To Accomplish That Goal." "He talked about the need to address the rising cost of college and about helping working parents struggling with the high cost of child care. He spoke of the urgency of rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and putting people back to work. He spoke to the very real sense of millions of Americans that their government and their economy has abandoned them. And he promised to rebuild our economy for working people. The deep worry that people feel over an America that does not work for them is not liberal or conservative worry. It is not Democratic or Republican worry. It is the deep worry that led even Americans with very deep reservations about Donald Trump's temperament and fitness to vote for him anyway. So let me be 100% clear about this. When President-Elect Trump wants to take on these issues, when his goal is to increase the economic security of middle class families, then count me in. I will put aside our differences and I will work with him to accomplish that goal. I offer to work as hard as I can and to pull as many people as I can into this effort. If Trump is ready to go on rebuilding economic security for millions of Americans, so am I and so are a lot of other people - Democrats and Republicans." (Elizabeth Warren, "President-Elect Donald Trump," Elizabeth Warren For Senate , 11/10/16)

In January 2017, Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) Stated That He Would Work "With The President When We [Democrats] Can." "U.S. Senator Jon Tester released the following statement following President Donald Trump's inauguration: 'Today we witnessed the peaceful transition of power, a cornerstone of our democracy. On this day, it's my true hope that regardless of where we come from - Big Sandy, Bozeman, or Broadus - we can commit to working together for all Montanans. I will do my part by serving as an important check and balance on the new Administration, working with the President when we can and holding him accountable when we must.'" (Press Release, "Tester Statement On Inauguration Day," Sen. Jon Tester , 1/20/17)

In February 2017, Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) Stated That She "Stand[s] Ready And Willing to Work With Him [The President]" To Rebuild The Country's Infrastructure. "'Our roads and bridges are crumbling and it's time we fix them,' said McCaskill. 'President Trump was crystal clear in his campaign that rebuilding our country's infrastructure was a top priority, and I stand ready and willing to work with him to achieve that goal. And I hope to see the same kind of commitment from Governor Greitens and leaders in Jefferson City.'" (Press Release, "Missouri Bridges Among Most Deficient In Nation-Mccaskill Urges Action," Sen. Claire McCaskill , 2/17/17)

In June 2017, Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) Announced That She "Intend[ed] To Work With President Trump And His Administration On An Infrastructure Plan" To Help The State Of Michigan. "U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) released a statement following a speech by President Trump today discussing his infrastructure proposal: 'I intend to work with President Trump and his Administration on an infrastructure plan that benefits people in Michigan and across the country. It is so important to Michigan that we upgrade our aging Soo Locks and our Great Lakes harbors. We must also provide our small towns and rural communities with the tools they need to succeed, like improved water and sewer systems, broadband access and telemedicine." (Press Release, "Stabenow Statement on President Trump's Infrastructure Proposal," Sen. Debbie Stabenow , 6/7/17)

In January 2018, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) Stated That He Supported President Trump's Efforts In "Cut[ting] The Red Tape" That Has Blocked Rural Access To Broadband. "'I commend President Trump for doing what he can through executive action to cut the red tape that serves as a roadblock to broadband buildout in our rural communities,' Senator Manchin said." (Press Release, "Manchin Applauds President Trump's Executive Action To Streamline Broadband Buildout In Rural Communities," Sen. Joe Manchin , 1/10/18)

In January 2018, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) Stated That Due To The Condition Of Bridges In Ohio, He Was "Ready To Work With The President to Make This Investment A Top Priority." "'This report is the latest example of why Ohioans so badly need updated bridges to get them to and from work, school and the doctor,' said Brown. 'I hope President Trump will lay out a plan to rebuild the nation's bridges, and invest in our entire infrastructure system, from roads to affordable housing to schools. Infrastructure investment will create jobs and grow the U.S. economy. I'm ready to work with the President to make this investment a top priority, but it needs to be new investment, not a plan that steals money from current programs that help our towns and cities.'" (Press Release, "Latest Bridge Analysis Underscores Need For Brown's Legislation To Update, Repair Ohio Bridges," Sen. Sherrod Brown , 1/29/18)

Democrats Have Agreed That Investments In Infrastructure Are Critical

In May 2008, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) Stated That Investments In Infrastructure "Reinvigorate The American Economy" And Create "Good Paying Jobs Right Here At Home In America." "Just as they did 200 years ago, these infrastructure investments offer our nation job-creating opportunities to reinvigorate the American economy. Anything we're talking about in terms of infrastructure means good paying jobs right here at home in America. It's not only about creating those jobs, it's about growing our economy." (Press Release, "Pelosi: 200 Years After Gallatin Project, We Must Again Invest In Our Infrastructure," Rep. Nancy Pelosi , 5/11/08)

In September 2010, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) Stated That America Needed To Invest In Infrastructure To "Put America Firmly On The Road To Prosperity." SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): "We need to enforce our trade laws; we need to push China on its currency practices; we need to reform our tax code to make it simpler and more streamlined and representative of the modern economy; we need to get our fiscal house in order; we need to invest in science and education and infrastructure. We still have a lot to do to put America firmly on the road to prosperity." (Sen. Chuck Schumer, Congressional Record, 9/27/10, p. S7489)

In June 2012, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) Stated That Investments In "Critical State Infrastructure Projects" Put "Californians Back To Work And Modernize Our State." "'Infrastructure projects like these are a win-win for California-they create much-needed jobs and critical improvements to the networks that keep our state moving,' said Senator Feinstein. 'I was proud to support these projects, and I will continue to advocate for transportation and other critical state infrastructure projects that put Californians back to work and modernize our state.'" (Press Release, "Feinstein Announces Infrastructure Funds For California," Sen. Dianne Feinstein , 6/19/12)

In June 2015, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) Stated That The U.S. Needed To "Invest Much More In Infrastructure To Keep America Competitive In This Global Economy." "The U.S. spends just 1.7 percent of its gross domestic product on infrastructure, less than at any point in the last two decades. Meanwhile, Europe spends close to twice our rate, and China spends close to four times our rate. 'We must invest much more in infrastructure to keep America competitive in this global economy,' Sanders said." (Press Release, "Senate Committee Passes Transportation Bill," Sen. Bernie Sanders , 6/24/15)

IN THE PAST, DEMOCRATS HAVE EXPRESSED A DESIRE TO CRAFT A LONG-TERM, BIPARTISAN LEGISLATIVE SOLUTION TO FIX AMERICA'S CRUMBLING INFRASTRUCTURE

Democrats Have Repeatedly Touted The Idea Of Passing A Long-Term Bill That Addresses America's Crumbling Infrastructure

In May 2015, Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) Claimed Congress Needed To Implement "Long-Term Policies That Help Our Economy Grow, Give Businesses Certainty, And Enable Key Construction Projects To Get Done." "'Once again, Congress is jumping from deadline to deadline, rather than implementing long-term policies that help our economy grow, give businesses certainty, and enable key construction projects to get done,' said Heitkamp." (Press Release, "Heitkamp: We Need Long-Term Solutions To Improve The Nation's Transportation Infrastructure," Sen. Heidi Heitkamp , 5/23/15)

In June 2015, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) Claimed That A Long Term Transportation Bill Would "Create Jobs And Make Critical Safety Upgrades That in Some Cases Are Overdue." "'A long term transportation bill will give communities the certainty they need to invest and plan substantial infrastructure projects,' Senator Casey said. 'Investing in our nation's roads and bridges will create jobs and make critical safety upgrades that in some cases are long overdue.'" (Press Release, "Casey, Lehigh Valley Leaders Push For Long Term Transportation Bill That Will Upgrade Region's Roads And Bridges," Sen. Bob Casey , 6/8/15)

In July 2015, Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) Stated She Was "Committed" To Finding A Long-Term Legislative Solution For Wisconsin Infrastructure And Ending The Cycle Of "Short-Term Measures." "'Putting people to work rebuilding our roads, bridges and railways creates jobs and boosts our Wisconsin economy,' said Senator Baldwin. 'Today's vote is an important step to ensure that work will continue over the coming months. However, in order for us to create an economy built to last, Congress needs to make a long-term investment in a 21st century American infrastructure that provides businesses with the quality transportation system they need to move their goods to market. I am committed to ending this six year cycle of short-term measures and finally give Wisconsin businesses and residents the confidence they deserve knowing our roads, bridges and other infrastructure will stand to benefit in the long-term.'" (Press Release, "U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Statement On Federal Highway Funding," Sen. Tammy Baldwin , 7/30/15)

In December 2015, Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) Claimed That She "Look[ed] Forward To Working With [Her] Colleagues On Both Sides Of The Aisle" To Get A Long-Term Agreement On Highway Funding. "'It's hard to get anything done in Washington these days, which is why these wins for Missouri are all the more important,' said McCaskill, a former Missouri State Auditor and former Chairman of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection. 'We've scored victories today for Missouri jobs, businesses, and consumers-folks I'll never stop fighting for-and for our country's energy future, and I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get this long-term bill across the finish line.'" (Press Release, "McCaskill Scores Legislative Hat-Trick In Highway Bill," Sen. Claire McCaskill , 12/1/15)

Democrats Have Agreed That Investments In Infrastructure Boost The Economy, Create Jobs And Offer Tangible Benefits To The American People

In May 2014, Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) Claimed That Rebuilding Wisconsin's Infrastructure Would "Put People To Work And Create Jobs." "'In order for us to grow the economy and create jobs we need to make sure we build a 21st century Wisconsin infrastructure that includes renewing our commitment to our ports, locks and dams,' said Baldwin. 'Rebuilding our water infrastructure will not only put people to work and create jobs, it will provide businesses with the quality infrastructure they need to move their goods to market.'" (Press Release, "U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Supports Investments In Wisconsin's Water Infrastructure," Sen. Tammy Baldwin , 5/22/14)

In May 2014, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) Claimed Investments In Bridges Was A Bipartisan Issue And That The Parties "Should Come Together" Because "It's A Commonsense Step To Improve Infrastructure And Create Jobs." "'Fixing structurally deficient bridges in Harrisburg and throughout South Central Pennsylvania will Increase safety and provide a boost to the economy,' Senator Casey said. 'Congress has an opportunity in the upcoming transportation bill to make a significant commitment to bridge repair. This is an issue that Democrats and Republicans should come together on because it's a commonsense step to improve infrastructure and create jobs.'" (Press Release, "Casey Pushes For Additional Funds For Bridge Repair In Upcoming Transportation Bill," Sen. Bob Casey , 5/12/14)

In March 2015, Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) Asserted That The Best Way To Create Jobs In The Private Sector Would Be To Invest In Infrastructure And Pass A Bipartisan Bill To "Cut Red Tape, Set Deadlines, And Increase Transparency." "Donnelly said, 'My top priority is to help create jobs for Hoosiers, and I think one of the best ways to create jobs is establishing the right conditions for the private sector to invest in our infrastructure. This bipartisan bill would improve the federal permitting process for major infrastructure projects by requiring agencies to work together to cut red tape, set deadlines, and increase transparency.'" (Press Release, "Donnelly: One Of Best Ways To Create Jobs Is By Cutting Red Tape On Infrastructure Projects," Sen. Joe Donnelly , 3/3/15)

In May 2017, Minority Leader Pelosi (D-CA) Stated That "Real Investment In Infrastructure" Would Allow For The "Opportunity To Create Good-Paying Jobs Strengthening Our Communities And Our Economy." "'The failing grade of America's infrastructure shows the urgent need for bold action, as well as the scope of the opportunity to create good-paying jobs strengthening our communities and our economy. '" (Press Release, "Pelosi Statement On Civil Engineers' D+ Grade For American Infrastructure," Rep. Nancy Pelosi , 5/9/17)

In January 2018, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) Claimed That Rebuilding Bridges Would "Create New Jobs And Make The Country More Competitive." "'Rebuilding bridges across the U.S. will create new jobs and make the country more competitive,' said Brown." (Press Release, "Brown, Wyden, Whitehouse Unveil Bill to Repair, Replace Bridges across America, Promote American Jobs," Sen. Sherrod Brown , 1/4/18)

In February 2013, Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) Claimed That Investing In Infrastructure Projects Like Clean Water, Roads, Bridges "Builds Stronger Rural Communities That Grow, Create Jobs, And Turn Challenges Into Opportunities." "'My message in Washington is this: smart investments in rural America are not wasteful spending,' Tester told the audience. 'Investing in clean water, in roads and bridges, builds stronger rural communities that grow, create jobs, and turn challenges into opportunities.'" (Press Release, "Tester Addresses Rural Water Systems Conference," Sen. Jon Tester , 2/21/13)

In August 2017, Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) Stated That Indiana's Ports Are The "Economic Drivers For Our State That Help Create Jobs And Support Our State's Manufacturing." "'Donnelly said, 'Indiana's ports are economic drivers for our state that help create jobs and support our state's manufacturing. I was proud to support the Ports of Indiana's application because this grant will help Burns Harbor increase its capacity and efficiency, expanding economic opportunities for Indiana.'" (Press Release, "Donnelly, Ports Of Indiana Announce Major Federal Grant For Burns Harbor Capacity Upgrades," Sen. Joe Donnelly , 8/7/17)


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