01.24.17

Leahy, Sanders And Other Leading Senate Democrats Unveil $1 Trillion Infrastructure Plan

---VIDEO / AUDIO Available--- 

Leahy, Sanders And Other Leading Senate Democrats Unveil $1 Trillion Infrastructure Plan                                                

WASHINGTON (TUESDAY, Jan. 24, 2017) – Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) Tuesday joined Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and other leading Senate Democrats in unveiling a $1 trillion infrastructure plan.  The Blueprint to Rebuild America's Infrastructure would create more than 15 million jobs over the next 10 years. 

Leahy, the Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said:  “In Vermont, we know the infrastructure needs of rural communities are unique.  This blueprint makes investments in rural communities to keep our downtowns vibrant, to expand broadband access, and grow our economy.  Our children and grandchildren, and the generations to follow, need real leadership and real action, and this blueprint puts us on the right path.”

Leahy’s full statement is available HERE. VIDEO is available HERE.

Elements of the Blueprint to Rebuild America's Infrastructure and Create 15 Million Jobs include investments in:

·                  Broadband: $20 billion investment, create an estimated 260,000 new jobs

·                  Revitalize America’s Main Streets: $100 billion investment, create an estimated 1.3 million jobs

·                  Water and sewer: $110 billion investment, create an estimated 2.5 million new jobs

·                  Schools: $75 billion investment, create an estimated 975,000 new jobs

·                  Roads and bridges: $200 billion investment, create more than 2.7 million new jobs

Leahy, who helped write the plan and ensured its emphasis on rural communities, has long advocated for critical investments in infrastructure, shepherding through Congress a program that has helped revitalize Vermont’s historic downtowns and villages across the state, and expanding broadband internet access to all Vermonters. 

More information, including quotes from Senator Sanders, is available BELOW.

# # # # #

DEMOCRATIC SENATORS ANNOUNCE MAJOR, $1 TRILLION INFRASTRUCTURE PROPOSAL – ASK PRESIDENT TRUMP TO SUPPORT PLAN THAT WOULD REBUILD ROADS, BRIDGES AND OTHER CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE

Senate Dems Unveil Blueprint To Rebuild Critical Infrastructure While Creating 15 Million American Jobs Over Next 10 Years – Challenge Trump To Support Plan That Will Rebuild Infrastructure & Create Good-Paying, Middle-Class Jobs

Dems: President Trump Campaigned On Pushing Massive, $1 Trillion Infrastructure Plan That Would Create Millions Of Jobs & Bolster Economy – Blueprint Would Do Just That

Senate Dems Ask President Trump To Support Plan 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Tuesday, January 24, 2017, Democratic Leader Senator Charles E. Schumer and top Senate Democrats held a press conference to unveil a major infrastructure proposal. The Democratic Senators announced their proposal, A Blueprint to Rebuild America's Infrastructure and Create 15 Million Jobs, which includes a historic $1 trillion investment and would create more than 15 million jobs over the next 10 years. This comprehensive blueprint would provide billions for funding essential road and bridge improvement projects, expanding broadband in rural communities, repairing critical rail systems in major cities, modernizing VA hospitals, rebuilding public schools, expanding port and waterway infrastructure, rehabilitating water and sewer structures, and much more.

“Each day, too many students attend school in buildings that are crumbling beneath them, millions of Americans still lack access to high-speed Internet, and local governments are faced with the impossible choice of allowing water and sewer systems to deteriorate further or raising local taxes on already struggling middle-class families,” said U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer. “Our nation’s infrastructure issues are vast, and they go well beyond just road and bridge repair. Senate Democrats have unveiled this blueprint because we need a wide-sweeping infrastructure plan – and we need it now. During his campaign, President Trump talked often about a big and bold infrastructure package. Well, this is one of the most comprehensive overhaul proposals in a generation, and we’re challenging President Trump to work with us on this broad plan that will sustain our positive economic growth, create millions of jobs, and build a modern economy.”

“One of the most important jobs of government is to create a nurturing environment for job creation and job preservation, and one of the best ways to do that is make sure that we have modern, efficient, reliable transportation and critical infrastructure system,” said EPW Chairman U.S. Senator Tom Carper [D-DE]. “That’s why we have worked hard to assemble this major proposal that will maintain and repair the aging systems we use today, while also looking forward with strong investments in modernizing our country’s vast network of not only roads and bridges, but water systems, broadband and other critical infrastructure.”

“President Trump promised a one trillion dollar investment in American infrastructure, built with American iron and steel and made by American workers. This blueprint would hold the President accountable for keeping that promise – and we stand ready to work with him to make it a reality,” said U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown [D-OH], who introduced legislation to apply Buy America rules to all taxpayer-funded infrastructure and public works projects last week. “It’s time to put Americans to work rebuilding our bridges and roads, eliminating lead from older homes, and upgrading our water and public transit systems, and building broadband networks that businesses need to operate in today’s economy.”

“The bipartisanship on infrastructure investment has been undermined by years of obstructionism, and our infrastructure has continued to whither.  When it comes to investing in our depleted infrastructure, we never left the table.  And we have renewed determination, and cautious optimism, that others now will be willing to join us, to get this done.  Any investment in our infrastructure must support rural needs, as well as urban needs, and this blueprint does that,” said U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy [D-VT].

“Year after year, we under-fund the roads and bridges, the water systems, the airports and water ports that our economy depends on. And the results are plain to see: much of  our infrastructure is crumbling. Instead of giving away critical infrastructure to private investors to make a profit or create new tax loopholes for the wealthy, we are going to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and create 15 million middle class jobs in the process,” said U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders [D-VT].

“We can’t sit idly by and watch our country’s roads, bridges, airports and rail continue to deteriorate,” said Nelson.  “We must commit to building the next generation of great American infrastructure,” said U.S. Senator Bill Nelson [D-FL].

“You can’t have a big league economy with little league infrastructure, and what Senate Democrats have is a big league infrastructure proposal,” said U.S. Senator Ron Wyden [D-OR]. “This proposal will streamline the tax code to provide incentives to promote investment and innovation in clean, renewable energy.  And it will invest $100 billion toward the creation of a 21st century electric grid.  These incentives and investments will result in lower electric bills for American families and create new clean energy jobs all across the country.”

Schumer and his fellow Senate Democrats said this $1 trillion blueprint for fixing America’s aging infrastructure would not only improve the daily lives of American families, but also create more than 15 million new jobs over the next 10 years by improving, rebuilding, and repairing all modes of transportation, waterways, roads, bridges, railways, energy infrastructure, schools and access to high-speed broadband Internet. Schumer said this type of proposal is critical because it invests real federal dollars in projects that would help do everything from reducing traffic and congestion, to improving public health, increasing safety, boosting economic growth, and helping educate the next generation of Americans.

The Blueprint will follow “Buy America” provisions so the U.S. can rebuild with American products. It also ensures strong protections for working men and women like Davis-Bacon and Prevailing Wage requirements, strengthens participation from minority- and women-owned businesses, and adheres to important environmental protections.

The Blueprint to Rebuild America's Infrastructure and Create 15 Million Jobs includes the following investments: 

  • $210B to repair crumbling Roads and Bridges, saving the average American family over $1,700 a year

o   Reconstructing Roads and Bridges will create 1.3 Million New Jobs

§  Will provide federal funding to repair structurally deficient bridges in the Federal-aid Highway System, to ensure efficient shipping and passenger travel. Some funding will be on an incentive basis to encourage States and MPOs to set and achieve ambitious performance goals.

o   Expanding the TIGER Grant program will create 130,000 New Jobs

§  By increasing funding to TIGER, we will enable more projects to be funded, ensuring more communities are able to make transformative investments in transportation and expand economic opportunities.

o   Rebuilding Main Streets will create 1.3 Million New Jobs

§  This proposal will ensure the funding gaps for local priorities are closed and will help to support rebuilding America’s Main Streets. These new sources of funding would be available to cities, towns, and rural communities, to address their unique housing and infrastructure challenges.

  • $110B for a new Water & Sewer program that will provide local communities and taxpayers with federal grants, not just loans

o   Water & Sewer program will create 2.5 Million New Jobs

o   The majority of America’s water and sewer systems were built over 50 years ago and in some cases as much as 100 years old.

o   This program proposes a major increase in Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (SRF), and new flexibility to grant funding to communities as grants, rather than loans.

  • $180B to replace & expand Rail and Bus Systems, that are crumbling making the daily commute safer & cheaper for millions of Americans

o   Modernizing rail infrastructure will create 650,000 New Jobs

o   Repairing and Improving Public Transportation will create 1.7 Million New Jobs

  • $200B for a new Vital Infrastructure Projects (VIP) program that will direct major federal investments to the most critical national projects

o   VIP will create 2.6 Million New Jobs

o   This program will help to jumpstart innovative projects that connect communities from coast to coast and would be available for priority projects for all modes of surface transportation.

  • $75B to rebuild America’s Schools, ensuring our next generation learns in a State -of-the-Art Environment without raising local property taxes

o   Strengthening America’s Public Schools will create 975,000 New Jobs

§  This addresses the urgent need for public school modernization funds, which the Secretary of Education can distribute on a formula basis to the public schools with the greatest and most urgent needs within economically-distressed and high-poverty communities.

  • $70B to modernize America’s Ports, Airports, & Waterways helping US manufacturers be more competitive, and building resilient communities

o   Improving Airports and Airspace will create 390,000 New Jobs

o   Addressing Ports and Water Ways will create 195,000 New Jobs

o   Building more resilient communities will create 325,000 New Jobs

  • $100B in new funding to build 21st century Energy Infrastructure, upgrade our failing power grid, and lower electric bills

o   Investing in Next Generation Energy infrastructure will create 1.3 Million New Jobs

§  This portion of the proposal will consolidate and reform existing tax incentives for clean, renewable energy. A permanent incentive would be given for electricity generation, transportation fuels, and energy efficiency improvements. In the end this would bring down consumer costs for energy.

  • $20B in funding to Expand Broadband access to millions of Americans

o   Expanding broadband access will create 260,000 New Jobs

o   This will fund the build out of high-speed broadband in unserved and underserved areas.

o   We also propose expanding the programs to enable grant recipients to use grant funds to deploy various types of infrastructure capable of offering, middle-mile, last-mile wired and wireless broadband access, and adding evaluation criteria in the awards process to ensure that the funding goes to the most effective and efficient uses. 

o   Finally, we propose ensuring additional funding is available to help upgrade our nation’s aging 9-1-1 system and other critical infrastructure technology.

  • $20B in funding to address critical infrastructure backlogs on Public Lands and in Indian country

o   The Public Lands funding will create 260,000 New Jobs

o   With this investment of federal funding we will support construction, maintenance and restoration projects at the four Federal land management agencies

§  National Parks Service

§  US Forrest Service

§  Bureau of Land Management

§  US Fish and Wildlife Service

o   We also propose significant federal funding, above current tribal set asides in other programs, for tribal health care facilities, schools, roads, public safety maintenance and other construction needs.

  • $10B to construct new Veterans Administration Hospitals & Extended Care Facilities for our nation's heroes, and upgrade Army National Guard Readiness Centers

o   Modernizing the VA and National Guard facilities will create 130,000 New Jobs

o   This investment will serve to address the backlog and ensure that our Veterans get the modern care they deserve, w for on-going and high priority major VA construction projects. In addition to help foster partnerships with States to construct high-priority extended care facilities, and help address Army National Guard capital backlogs.

  • $10B to support the creation of New Innovative Financing tools aimed at unlocking private pools of capital and increasing infrastructure investment

o   Creating New Innovative Financing will create 1.3 Million New Jobs

o   Propose the creation of a new infrastructure finance entity (‘I-Bank’) that would unlock private pools of capital to provide low-cost loans or loan guarantees for infrastructure projects across a broad range of sectors, including transportation, energy, affordable housing, and water infrastructure.

###

Press Contact

Press Contact
David Carle: 202-224-3693