The first element is a "fix-it-first" policy, an investment of $50 billion to address the transportation infrastructure with $40 billion of that targeted to the most urgent projects, the "highways, bridges, transit systems, and airports most in need of repair." The second part of the plan is a "Rebuild America Partnership," with all levels of government partnering with business and private capital on infrastructure projects. The third part is a commitment from the federal government to modernize and streamline the agency permitting and regulatory processes for projects.
The outlines of the plan have been well received so far.
After hearing a general description of the proposal, Robert Puentes, director of theMetropolitan Infrastructure Initiative, said that while some of the announcement had been on the president’s agenda for some time, “the important shift seems to be the administration is not waiting for the legislature,” but is “maximizing the things they can do themselves.”Importantly, these are initiatives that minimize the need for congressional approval, where there would likely be a less enthusiastic response, at least from one side. Past efforts at infrastructure jobs bills have regularly been killed by Republicans, whose commitment to real job creation is hollow, at best.
Mr. Puentes expressed enthusiasm for the infusion of more private capital into infrastructure investment. “This is not going to solve all our infrastructure problems — we still have a long way to go,” he said, adding that private money cannot meet all of the nation’s needs. However, he said, “this will go a long way.”