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House Leaders Propose $760 Billion Infrastructure Bill

Congressional Democrats and House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter A. DeFazio (D-Ore.) are proposing a $760 billion, five-year infrastructure spending bill that aims to rebuild our crumbling roads and bridges, while reducing carbon pollution.

“America’s infrastructure is in crisis,” reads a fact sheet. “For decades we have relied on a 1950s-era transportation system that has failed to keep pace.”

In April, Trump and Democratic leaders agreed to spend $2 trillion on infrastructure, without hashing out a way to pay for it. Weeks later, Trump abruptly canceled a follow-up meeting after criticizing congressional investigations.

The Democrats’ plan calls for new spending on roads, bridges, rail, public transit, water, internet expansion, electric grids, aviation and “brownfield” land that was possibly contaminated after previous industrial use. 

“Our nation’s infrastructure is deteriorating and only getting worse. By 2025, our crumbling infrastructure will cost American businesses $7 trillion. Today’s announcement from Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats is an important step forward on the path to rebuilding America’s infrastructure. We urge Republicans and Democrats to come together this year to enact legislation to rebuild our core infrastructure platforms, including roads, bridges, and transit," said U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO Thomas J. Donohue.

With a presidential election looming, many doubt Congress will be able to tackle infrastructure this year but lawmakers face a Sept. 30 deadline to reauthorize surface transportation spending.

A Senate panel in July voted to authorize $287 billion in federal government spending over five years on surface transportation needs, a 27% jump, but Congress has not been able to agree on how to pay for it.

Republicans on the House Transportation and Infrastructure committee said in a statement they believe Congress can pass infrastructure legislation this year; they argue Congress must find a new way to fund road repairs since existing gasoline tax revenue has not kept pace.

The Chamber previously outlined a four-point plan for infrastructure modernization and investment and continues to urge Congress and the administration to take the following recommendations into account when building an infrastructure package:

  • Increase the federal fuel user fee by 25 cents.
  • Implement a multi-faceted approach for leveraging more public and private resources.
  • Streamline the permitting process at the federal, state and local level.
  • Expand the American workforce through work-based learning and immigration reform.