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Bipartisanship on Infrastructure? Not So Fast

 

As expected, President Trump used his State of the Union speech to highlight his appeal for bipartisan support for his $1.5 trillion plan to “rebuild our crumbling infrastructure…to give us safe, fast, reliable and modern infrastructure that our economy needs and our people deserve.” Bravo.

The need to address this country’s infrastructure deficiencies is one area where there is real bipartisan agreement. Unfortunately, once you get past the top line agreement that something must be done, the devilish details emerge and fundamental disagreements become clear.

Sadly, in spite of a cooperative outreach on infrastructure, a bipartisan deal in 2018 appears unlikely. There are huge gaps between how Democrats and Republicans approach everything from how to use federal dollars, where to use federal dollars, how many of those federal dollars should be used, and where to find them. Battles over infrastructure are not likely to be limited to Democrats versus Republicans.

One of the reasons that infrastructure is so difficult is because it also pits the federal government against state and local governments, which are being asked to shoulder an increasingly disproportionate share of the burden, and rural against urban, making a comprehensive solution that much more politically and financially divisive.  Read More

 

Related news: Congress returns to Trump infrastructure plan looming deadlines on spending, immigration.  Read More