Democrats to Unveil Infrastructure Initiative

Getty Images

After striking out last year, House Democrats are hoping to broker a new infrastructure deal.

Things are pretty interesting in the Senate right now, to say the least, so we wouldn’t fault you if your attention’s been diverted. But, infrastructure! It’s happening again! Yes, really.

House Democrats are expected to announce infrastructure development plans Wednesday, coinciding with a Ways and Means Committee’s hearing on funding infrastructure investment.

The House’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is aiming to boost current annual spending by approximately $20 billion per year for federal highway and transit programs, according to an outline obtained by Bloomberg Government.

Democrats have not yet identified how they plan to fund these infrastructure initiatives.

This week, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) will meet with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to discuss negotiating a bipartisan infrastructure bill with the Trump administration. Neal and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) both said earlier this month that they see a path forward for a bipartisan infrastructure deal following passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.   

But we've been here before. In 2019, infrastructure discussions between Pelosi, President Trump and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) collapsed as impeachment inquiries began, despite an initial agreement to $2 trillion plan.  

Looking forward to the presidential election, Democratic candidates Pete Buttigieg and Michael Bloomberg have already announced prospective infrastructure plans that would pour more than $1 trillion into public works. With likely voters ranking repairing America’s infrastructure as a top priority, Buttigieg and Bloomberg are following public sentiment.

Since 2019 sadly concluded with manufacturing jobs numbers that left much to be desired, infrastructure offers a critical opportunity for policy leaders to support workers and provide a long overdue fix for our nation’s crumbling infrastructure. It’s unclear, however, whether there’s enough bipartisan interest in achieving meaningful action ahead of the election.