By Rich Juliano, senior vice president and managing director of Contractors and P3 Divisions, ARTBA
Major party presidential nominees Donald Trump (R) and Hillary Clinton (D), who have each committed to major upgrades in federal transportation infrastructure investment, briefly shared views on the topic during their first debate Sept. 26. Generally, they echoed statements made earlier in their respective campaigns.
Trump contended that “our country’s a mess,” in part because of U.S. airports that are “like from a third world country.” He called for new investments in various forms of infrastructure.
As he has done before, Trump also decried cost overruns in public works. “We build roads and they cost two and three and four times what they’re supposed to cost,” he said. He likened these alleged overages to excessive spending in military procurement, and contrasted both with his company’s construction of a new hotel in Washington, D.C., which Trump said would be “way under budget and way ahead of schedule.” Trump did not provide further details on the factors he believes are responsible for such large cost overruns in U.S. road construction.
Clinton reiterated her objective of creating “new jobs, good jobs, with rising incomes.” She specifically referenced infrastructure investment as a related priority.
Clinton has proposed $250 billion of new federal infrastructure funding on top of current levels, as well as $25 billion to capitalize a federal infrastructure bank, both paid for by “business tax reform.” Trump has vowed to “at least double” Clinton’s proposal, perhaps in the range of $800 billion to $1 trillion in new federal infrastructure investment, likely financed by a form of bonding.
ARTBA has compiled a detailed report on the transportation records and statements of the major party presidential and vice presidential candidates. Read the latest edition, which includes the debate statements above.