Transportation & Infrastructure
As Democrats, we are committed to a strategy that strengthens, modernizes, protects, and maintains U.S. national infrastructure on the ground, in the sky, on the water, and in our cyber networks. In order to remain competitive in the global economy, improving domestic infrastructure is a sound strategy to promote growth and efficiency, support increased manufacturing, feed the American market and serve as an export platform for U.S. manufactured goods around the world.
Today, our infrastructure continues to decline with 37% of our roads in poor or fair condition and 25% of our bridges structurally deficient. Congestion costs U.S. employers, businesses and manufacturers $78 billion a year, with accidents and delays costing Americans more than $1,200 for each man, woman and child. Our aviation system continues to use outdated technology, slowed by an uncertain future and 18 short-term extensions of the FAA reauthorization bill, with deferred repairs and flight delays costing an additional $33 billion per year.
We must repair, restore and protect our nation’s infrastructure backbone, which is essential to our global economic competitiveness and the future security of our country.
- Expand innovative initiatives to extend the reach of the taxpayer’s dollar and leverage private funds as part of a comprehensive infrastructure strategy, including:
- A national infrastructure bank
- Capital budgeting
- Private investment bonding
- Loan guarantees
- Build America Bonds
- Environmental permit streamlining
- Complete the long-overdue reauthorization of surface transportation programs to bring our infrastructure to a state of good repair and ensure our long-term competitiveness.
- Complete the long-overdue FAA reauthorization to invest in and accelerate the development of a satellite-based Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) to increase the safety, efficiency and reliability of our air transport system.
- Reauthorize FAA to enhance our aviation system and allow airports the flexibility to collect the revenue necessary to improve our facilities, which will increase the efficiency of our air transportation system, reduce delays, and improve safety.
- Implement true world class high-speed rail in the United States while maintaining our commitment to traditional passenger rail service.
- Modernize our nation’s ports to help businesses, small and large, sell their goods to customers at home and abroad through mechanisms such as the reauthorization of the Water Resources Development Act and reforming the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund.
- Keep our rivers and seaports open for business by reallocating idle resources in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund towards dredging our nation’s ship navigation channels to provide an economically and environmentally efficient means for businesses to transport goods.
- Create and fund a national freight transportation program and national freight mobility strategy that partners with states and territories, metropolitan areas, and the private sector to advance highway, rail and port projects that eliminate chokepoints and increase efficiency for both export, import, and domestic shipping.
- Modernize our nation’s power system through research grants and incentives to develop a smarter and more reliable power grid.
- Promote fuel efficiency and alternative fuels to generate green jobs, create a domestic clean energy industry, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
- Expand high-speed broadband infrastructure to improve the quality of service and provide a foundation for businesses to grow and innovate.
- Strengthen protections for our critical infrastructure against cyber and physical attacks.