America’s physical infrastructure is the backbone of our economy, impacting how we get to work and school, how much groceries cost at the store, the size of our water and sewer bills, and so much more.
The availability and quality of infrastructure determines where companies locate and where jobs are created.
In short, Americans depend on our nation’s infrastructure every single day.
Yet, despite its critical importance to our lives and our economy, we have allowed our nation’s infrastructure to fall into a state of disrepair.
Today, we spend less on infrastructure as a percentage of GDP than at any time in the past twenty years, and the results are plain to see.
Every day, Americans get stuck in traffic jams, drive on potholed roads, cross bridges in disrepair, and ride in overcrowded subways.
Far too many students attend school in buildings that are crumbling, and millions of Americans lack access to high-speed internet.
Local governments are stuck with the impossible choice of allowing water and sewer systems to deteriorate further or raising local taxes.
The American Society of Civil Engineers says we must spend $1.6 trillion above current levels just to get our infrastructure to a state of good repair.
Our deteriorating infrastructure already costs the economy close to $200 billion a year, and if we do not make these needed investments now, they will simply cost us more later.
Our Blueprint will improve the daily lives of millions of American families by creating a 21st century transportation network, rebuilding water systems and schools, making our electric system stronger and our communities more resilient, and much more.
Our Blueprint will invest directly in communities because Democrats know that we can’t fix a problem of this magnitude simply by tolling more highways or privatizing water and sewer system that profit on ratepayers.
We will prioritize projects and communities all across the country. We will have robust set-asides for small towns, rural communities, tribal lands, and underserved populations.
At a time when our middle class is struggling, wages are stagnating, and people are working longer hours just to get by, we will create 15 million new jobs.
Moreover, these jobs will be in sectors of the economy especially hard hit by the Great Recession and that have been slower to recover, like the construction trades and manufacturing. And, these will be decent paying middle-class jobs that cannot be outsourced.
Instead of undermining American workers, we will adhere to basic principles that should govern all federal infrastructure spending:
- Buy America provisions to rebuild America with American products
- Strong protections for working men and women, like Davis-Bacon prevailing wages
- Strengthened participation of minority- and women-owned businesses
- Accelerated project delivery while adhering to important environmental protections
Lastly, our Blueprint is fiscally responsible, closing tax loopholes used by corporations and super-wealthy individuals to offset associated costs.