Commentary: Washington, D.C. - Today, Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI), and CPC Member Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), responded to the newly released White House outline for infrastructure. The CPC supports the adoption of a bold plan that invests in American families, not billionaires. The CPC supports the principles set forth in H.Con.Res.63– endorsed by 156 Democrats – and has proposed the 21st Century New Deal for Jobs, a detailed vision to rebuild America that invests ten times more federal dollars in our nation’s infrastructure than Trump’s giveaway to the rich:
“Trump’s infrastructure plan is all smoke and mirrors and emblematic of what he does best: conning the American people,” said Rep. Grijalva. “Although he touts it as a $1.5 trillion investment, states and municipalities will ultimately foot the bill as Trump’s wealthy friends continue to line their pockets. Instead of investing public money into dynamic infrastructure projects that benefit the public good across the United States, Trump’s plan will incentivize projects in populated, wealthy areas while neglecting much-needed improvements in rural America. The American people need an infrastructure plan that will revitalize America’s cities and towns, expand employment opportunities, and give them the 21st century infrastructure they deserve. Unfortunately, Trump’s toll plan does nothing to accomplish this.”
“Reading scripted remarks and tweeting out vague promises to invest in our country will not build roads and bridges – it takes public dollars to do that. Americans deserve a serious public commitment to rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, but under the Trump Administration’s plan, communities across Wisconsin won’t get the resources we need,” said Rep. Pocan. “With a comparatively paltry investment from the federal government over ten years – less than one-tenth of 1% of GDP – and no dedicated funding for rural broadband, the Administration’s plan falls far short in resources, leaving many communities behind.
“Trump's infrastructure plan is a fake plan. It shakes down states and local municipalities instead of investing federal dollars directly in communities. As a result, local officials will have to lean on private companies looking to turn a profit,” Rep. Lieu continued. “What does that mean? Tolls and usage fees for taxpayers on top of local tax hikes. Not exactly a great deal for anyone except for corporate investors.
“The reality is that President Trump’s plan is nothing more than an attempt to sell off public resources to Wall Street, to members of Mar-a-Lago, and to foreign investors. We need a real, comprehensive public investment that goes beyond traditional infrastructure, and covers not just our roads and bridges, but our water systems, broadband, and clean, renewable energy, as the Progressive Caucus has put forward in our 21st Century New Deal for Jobs,” Rep. Pocan continued. “We need a serious plan and funding commitment that prioritizes communities most in need and creates the millions of good-paying jobs, not more empty promises.
“More than 75 percent of the Democratic Caucus has signed on our resolution calling for a genuine public investment in rebuilding our transportation, water, energy, and information systems for a reason,” said Rep. Lieu. “If Trump were serious about investing in America’s future, he wouldn’t propose cutting corners. His plan won’t have nearly the same job-creating impact that real federal investment would and instead could cost taxpayers dearly.”
The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is the largest caucus within the House Democratic Caucus, with over 70 members standing up for progressive ideals in Washington and throughout the country. Since 1991, the CPC has advocated for progressive policies that prioritize working Americans over corporate interests, fight economic and social inequality, and promote civil liberties. The CPC champions progressive policy solutions like comprehensive immigration reform, a $15 national minimum wage, fair trade, gun violence reform, debt-free college, and making the federal government a Model Employer.