Congressman Sires’ Statement on President Trump’s Infrastructure Plan
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Congressman Sires issued the following statement regarding President Trump’s newly-released Infrastructure Plan:
“President Trump’s long-awaited Infrastructure Initiative has finally been revealed, and it is unsurprisingly selfish in scope and particularly harmful to our communities. What was advertised to the American people as a $1.5 trillion Federal investment plan for our infrastructure actually only provides $200 billion over ten years. That, taken with his plan to cut more than $168 billion in Federal infrastructure funding over the same ten year period, does not add up to much at all.
Taken at face value, however, $200 billion over ten years seems like a lot of money to invest in anything. Yet, a 2017 report by the American Society of Civil Engineers concludes that the only way we can address our infrastructure repair and upgrade backlog is by investing at least $2 trillion by 2025. This Administration’s investment does not even get us a quarter of the way there.
Instead, the plan provides relatively-little funding while also rolling back the protections that keep public services from being privatized - all in the hope that States and cities can raise the $1.3 trillion that the President keeps promoting. This formula is designed to put the majority of the funding burden on taxpayers. For example, President Trump’s plan only allows the Federal government to provide a maximum of 20 percent investment in any infrastructure investment; eliminates current restrictions prohibiting tolling of Interstate highways; and places the most value on an infrastructure project application that can raise the most revenue, instead of for its usefulness to the community. It is easy to see how all these so-called incentives would place a remarkable burden on New Jersey’s taxpayers.
This is nothing to say of the plan’s restrictions on Amtrak receiving funding; or that nothing in the plan ensures that Federal labor protections are upheld; or that Buy America provisions be honored. Put simply, this plan is a sham that falls well short of Candidate Trump’s promises and President Trump’s boasts, and would only hurt New Jersey’s taxpayers. ”