The G.W. Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations all pushed for infrastructure bills to repair the United States’ decaying transportation, power, water, and rural broadband systems, but there has been little desire by Congress to move any proposal forward.
However, the Covid-19 pandemic might be changing this. Local bridge and road projects are often funded by state budgets. Due to nationwide lockdowns and the subsequent recession, state tax revenues will fall significantly, forcing budget cuts. This could exacerbate an already weak economic situation because, according to the Brookings Institution, one in 10 U.S. jobs relates to infrastructure.
As a result, both U.S. political parties are pushing competing infrastructure proposals, spurred on by the Trump administration’s recent statement that they will present an infrastructure bill of at least $1T. The Democratic party’s House infrastructure bill, the Moving Forward Act, has a $1.5T budget, which includes $500B for transportation and $100B for schools as well as money for clean energy funds, rural broadband, the USPS, and an electric car charging network. It is estimated the bill will create 1.9M jobs over a five-year period. In contrast, the current GOP Senate plan is only a reauthorization of the five-year $287B Highway Trust Fund. I’m skeptical that the parties will be able to reconcile their differences before the upcoming presidential election to pass a bill. Still, given