SOTU FACT SHEET – President Trump: Failing Hard-Working American Families on Infrastructure
Leading up to President Trump’s State of the Union on Tuesday, February 4th, our office is sending out a series of reports entitled “President Trump: Failing Hard-Working American Families,” on President Trump’s record since he took office in 2017 and how his claims match up with reality. This is one of those reports.
IN PRESIDENT TRUMP’S OWN WORDS:
- “…we want to build new roads, bridges, tunnels, highways bigger, better, faster, and we want to build them at less cost.” [1/9/2020]
- “After years of rebuilding foreign countries, we are now rebuilding our country instead.” [5/14/2019]
- “Both parties should be able to unite for a great rebuilding of America's crumbling infrastructure. I know that the Congress is eager to pass an infrastructure bill – and I am eager to work with you on legislation to deliver new and important infrastructure investment, including investments in the cutting edge industries of the future. This is not an option. This is a necessity.” [State of the Union Address, 2/5/2019]
- “No longer will we allow the infrastructure of our magnificent country to crumble and decay.” [2/21/2018]
THE FACTS: THE PRESIDENT WALKED AWAY FROM BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE TALKS IN 2019
- In 2019, after years of empty boasts, President Trump finally sat down at the table with Congressional Democrats to craft a bipartisan infrastructure proposal that would revolutionize our nation’s infrastructure. However, in the middle of the meeting with Democratic leaders where each side was to lay out their objectives and how to pay for them, President Trump abruptly stormed out and declared he would not work with them on this critical issue because House Democrats were investigating the President’s actions during the 2016 election.
Los Angeles Times: Trump, angry over House investigations, blows up infrastructure meeting [5/22/2019]
US News: Trump Lashes Out at Pelosi, Quashes Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal [5/22/2019]
New York Times: Trump, Angered by ‘Phony’ Inquiries, Blows Up Meeting with Pelosi and Schumer [5/22/2019]
Politico: White House denies Trump storming out of meeting was a stunt [5/23/2019]
- Instead of working to help address the urgent needs of the American people, the President selfishly chose to shut down work on a bipartisan infrastructure package and blame Democrats for performing their constitutionally mandated duty of oversight.
THE FACTS: DEMOCRATS HAVE A FRAMEWORK TO MOVE AMERICA AND THE ENVIRONMENT FORWARD
- Rebuilding America’s infrastructure is about creating jobs immediately, bolstering commerce, advancing public health with clean air and clean water, improving the transportation system and addressing climate change with clean energy, clean transportation and resilient infrastructure.
- House Democrats have a framework to invest $760 billion over five years in the nation’s roads, bridges, transit systems, railways, airports, ports, inland waterways, wastewater and drinking water systems, brownfields and broadband. This framework is an opportunity to get our existing infrastructure working again and fund new transformative projects that will create an estimated 10 million jobs, while reducing carbon pollution, dramatically improving safety, and spurring economic activity.
THE FACTS: AMERICA’S INFRASTRUCTURE IS IN CRISIS
- Modern infrastructure is essential for our country – it promotes commerce, creates family-wage jobs, improves the quality of life, results in better air and water quality, and connects all our communities whether by plane, boat, highway, rail or broadband. The quality of our infrastructure impacts our lives where we live, where we learn, where we work and where we play.
- The urgent state of our nation’s infrastructure cannot be overstated. Once among the world leaders in quality infrastructure, the United States now ranks 9th – behind Singapore, Switzerland, Germany and Japan – according to the World Economic Forum.
- According to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the overall assessment of our nation’s infrastructure is rated a D+. If our nation’s infrastructure needs are not addressed immediately, ASCE estimates that by 2025, our economy will lose almost $4 trillion in GDP and 2.5 million jobs.
- ASCE ranks one out of every five miles of highway pavement in our nation at poor condition and an estimated 56,000 of the nation’s bridges as structurally deficient.
- Nearly a quarter (24 percent) of America’s public K-12 school buildings are rated ‘fair’ or ‘poor’ and more than half (53 percent) need improvements to reach ‘good’ condition.
- Furthermore, the World Economic Forum ranks the U.S. 26th in the world for electricity infrastructure – behind more than two dozen countries including Bahrain, Kazakhstan and Chile.
- Continued underinvestment in our nation’s infrastructure is expected to cost the average American family $3,400 a year. These costs fall harder on low-income and disadvantaged communities where the cost of a blown tire or lost wages from sitting in traffic or waiting on unreliable public transportation can be crippling.
- As Kristina Swallow, the president of ASCE in 2018, said of the nation’s crumbling infrastructure: “It’s hurting our economy, it’s hurting our communities’ ability to grow, it’s hurting our quality of life, and in some cases, there are public safety concerns. Our infrastructure is not meeting our needs.”
- PolitiFact: Still no progress on $550 billion roads and bridges pledge [1/16/2020]