By Dave Bauer, ARTBA senior vice president, government relations
The Democratic Platform finalized July 21 calls for a dramatic push to rebuild the nation’s transportation infrastructure and highlights the job creation benefits that would result. While the proposal is certainly positive, the language is far less specific and ambitious than the infrastructure plan released in December 2015 by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. By contrast, the GOP Platform includes specific proposals (such as opposing a gas tax increase and stripping public transportation from the Highway Trust Fund) that Donald Trump has never mentioned.
The 2016 Democratic Platform states: “The climate emergency and the need to expand the middle class demand that we make the most ambitious investment in American infrastructure since President Eisenhower created the interstate highway system. We will put Americans to work updating and expanding our roads, bridges, public transit, airports, and passenger and freight rail lines.”
The Clinton plan, on the other hand, specifically calls for increasing existing federal infrastructure investment by $275 billion over the next five years, includes recommendations for a national freight program, and pledges she would begin upgrades of at least the 25 most costly freight bottlenecks by the end of her first term. The Clinton infrastructure initiative and the 2016 Democratic Platform do overlap in two tangible areas—both call for a national infrastructure bank and renewal of Build America Bonds that decrease the cost of state and local government borrowing for infrastructure improvements.
A copy of the Democratic platform can be accessed at https://www.demconvention.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Democratic-Party-Platform-7.21.16-no-lines.pdf.