U.S. House Democrats Unveil New $760 Billion Infrastructure Plan

U.S. House Democrats on Wednesday unveiled a five-year, $760 billion plan to make new investments in the nation’s infrastructure— including roads, bridges, transit systems, railways, airports, ports, inland waterways, wastewater and drinking water systems, brownfields, and broadband.

The centerpiece of the plan invests $329 billion for highway, railroad, and transportation repairs and maintenance. Priority would be given to fixing broken and outdated existing infrastructure — including 47,000 U.S. bridges that are now considered structurally deficient.

According to a press release:

House Democrats’ Moving Forward Framework outlines a 5-year, $760 billion investment to get our existing infrastructure working again and fund new, transformative projects that will create more than 10 million jobs, while reducing carbon pollution, dramatically improving safety, and spurring economic activity. It’s infrastructure investment that is smarter, safer, and made to last.

Highlights of the “Moving Forward Framework” include:

Modern Highways & Highway Safety Investments — $329 Billion

  • Delivers better roads and bridges faster, by prioritizing fixing the broken, outdated infrastructure we already have, including the Nation’s 47,000 structurally deficient bridges.
  • Modernizes infrastructure with bold new funding for addressing the most impactful projects and bottlenecks that affect local regions and the national transportation network.
  • Invests in reducing carbon pollution from the transportation sector and improving the resilience of infrastructure to withstand the impacts of climate change.
  • Dramatically increasing the availability of charging stations and other alternative fueling options for electric and zero-emission vehicles.
  • Addresses the sharp rise in pedestrian and bicyclist deaths by making our roads safer for all users. o Uses modern technology, such as smart traffic lights and innovative materials, to create smarter, more efficient transportation systems.

Transit Investment — $105 Billion

  • Increases funding for transit agencies to add new routes and provide more reliable service, encouraging viable public transit options and fewer single-occupant cars clogging highways.
  • Increases investment in zero-emission buses to reduce carbon pollution. o Streamlines project delivery so that our investments get shovels in the ground quicker and commuters see results faster, by reforming the Capital Investment Grant program.
  • Provides the investments needed to address the growing backlog of transit maintenance needs, making public transit safer and more reliable.

Rail Investments — $55 Billion

  • Expands the passenger rail network, giving travelers a reliable, low-carbon option to travel both short and long distances, including to regions that lack frequent or affordable airport service.
  • Invests in Amtrak stations, facilities, services, and modernization of its rail cars, while continuing Amtrak’s legacy of serving long-distance and intercity passengers.

Airport Investments — $30 Billion

  • Supports airport investments to meet growing passenger demand and advances FAA’s airspace modernization efforts to make air travel safer and easier.
  • Incentivizes the development and use of sustainable aviation fuels and new aircraft technologies to reduce carbon pollution from air travel.
  • Accelerates research into noise reduction efforts in communities near U.S. airports, making communities healthier and more livable.

Clean Water & Wastewater Infrastructure — $50.5 Billion

  • Funds building a new, modern clean water and wastewater infrastructure by investing $40 billion in the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF), to address local water quality challenges, with dedicated funds for urban and rural communities with affordability concerns.
  • Encourages the use of energy-efficient and water-efficient technologies.
  • Helps communities affordably address local sewer overflow and stormwater infrastructure needs, preventing pollution in local rivers and waterways, and disruptions to service.
  • Establishes a new EPA program to detect, prevent, and treat discharge of industrial chemicals, including PFAS. Water Infrastructure (Flood protection, navigation, etc.) — $10 Billion o Addresses the impact of severe weather events by tackling the backlog of Army Corps’ projects designed to protect communities at risk of flooding, to enhance community resiliency, and to enhance national, regional, and local economic growth.

Harbor Infrastructure — $19.7 Billion

  • Funds the essential dredging and upkeep of American harbors, ports and channels – keeping commerce flowing and ensuring U.S. economic competitiveness – by making sure the fees collected from maritime shippers go toward regular harbor maintenance.

Brownfield Restoration — $2.7 Billion

  • Helps communities fix up abandoned and contaminated properties for new use, particularly important for the revitalization of economically distressed communities.

Drinking Water —$25.4 Billion

  • Protects Americans’ drinking water – particularly for vulnerable communities – by investing in the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and programs to ensure clean drinking water in schools, day care centers and on Native American Reservations.
  • Provides funding to local communities dealing with PFAS contamination in the drinking water and requires EPA to identify and assist these and other communities with effective decontamination techniques.

Clean Energy— $34.3 Billion

  • Invests in electric grid modernization to accommodate more renewable energy and to make the grid more secure, resilient and efficient.
  • Encourages local communities to invest in energy-efficient infrastructure including retrofitting and weatherizing buildings and funding energy efficiency and conservation projects to reduce carbon pollution and put people back to work.
  • Strengthens existing energy supply infrastructure and expands renewable energy infrastructure in low income and underserved communities to increase climate resilience and reduce greenhouse gas pollution across the country.
  • Supports the development of an electric vehicle charging network to facilitate the transition to zero-emission vehicles from coast to coast.

Broadband & Communications — $86 Billion

  • Invests in expanding broadband access to unserved and underserved rural, suburban, and urban communities across the country – connecting Americans, creating strong small businesses, more jobs and strengthening economies in communities that have been left behind.

Public Safety Communications — $12 Billion

  • Protects American lives by funding implementation of a Next Generation 9-1-1 system that will allow people to call or send texts, images or videos to 9-1-1 to help first responders and emergency personnel better asses the nature of an emergency and reach people in need.

Last year, the Trump Administration unveiled its long-awaited infrastructure plan to Congress. The plan included $200 billion in federal funds; the rest of the $1.5 trillion in spending was expected to come from state and local governments, in addition to the private sector.

But the plan — which President Trump himself has reportedly said he’s not sure will work, criticizing its reliance on public-private partnerships — never got off the ground.

Stay tuned to Conduit Street for more information.

Useful Links

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: President Trump Calls for Bipartisan Infrastructure Plan, Details Unclear

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: President’s Infrastructure Plan: $200b on Feds, Rest on the Rest of Us

Full Text of the “Moving Forward Framework”

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