State of the Union Address: Reactions from the Infrastructure Community

Posted by Content Coordinator on Tuesday, February 6th, 2018

SOTU 2018: President Trump addresses both sides of the aisleTrump’s first State of the Union address lasted a respectable 1 hour and 20 minutes, and delved into a familiar set of issues: jobs, economic growth, immigration, and national security. Infrastructure made a brief appearance, but many stakeholders around the country, on both sides of the aisle, are left with questions about the exact nature of Trump’s $1.5 trillion infrastructure proposal.

The following is a selection of reactions to SOTU 2018 from the infrastructure community. 

The President’s focus on infrastructure is commendable, but without Congressional funding to address the huge backlog of desperately needed improvements to the nation’s roads, bridges, public transit, airports, water systems, and other assets, the President’s $1.5 trillion pledge would be no more than a mirage…We’ve been waiting for a year for the release of the Administration’s proposal so we can get to work with leaders in the House and Senate to advance a meaningful, bipartisan investment package that will modernize our infrastructure.
David Raymond, President, American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC)

A year into his Presidency, the American Society of Civil Engineers is pleased that President Trump has focused national attention on improving our roads, bridges, and water systems through a major federal bill…I urge Congress to develop legislation that increases federal investment in infrastructure, including fixing the Highway Trust Fund…ASCE is confident that increased investment will modernize our infrastructure, improve public health and safety, and drive our economy forward.
Kristina Swallow, PE, President, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

In his State of the Union address, Trump took aim at the environmental reviews required before a federal road or bridge can be built. But, despite what the President claimed, it’s federal funding, not public participation or environmental protections, that’s holding back these projects…The President’s statements are more of the same. Pretending we can have more infrastructure while weakening environmental protection and giving developers carte blanche to run roughshod over protections.  We can not “streamline” our way to new infrastructure.
Scott Slesinger, Legislative Director, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

“We are pleased that President Trump continues to highlight the need for additional federal investment in infrastructure…AASHTO has for years called for a long-term strategy to shore up the Highway Trust Fund in order to maintain federal investment in surface transportation. We are looking forward to seeing the President’s infrastructure plan and working closely with the administration and Congress to advance a robust, long-term infrastructure bill that supports needed reforms such as streamlining project delivery in ways that also protect our natural resources.”
Bud Wright, Executive Director, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

We share the president’s commitment to modernizing America’s infrastructure and welcome his engagement on badly needed immigration reforms. A modern, efficient, and safe infrastructure system and a skilled, competitive workforce are necessary to keep our economy growing. The U.S. business community is ready to work with the White House and Congress to advance these priorities this year.
Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

We applaud President Trump tonight for outlining a renewed focus on the need for bipartisan action towards improving and investing in America’s transportation infrastructure…As we await the details of the White House’s infrastructure plan, we are encouraged by the President’s call to cut burdensome regulations and laws that prevent states from accessing all available funding options to meet their local needs.
Patrick Jones, Executive Director and CEO, International Bridge, Tunnel & Turnpike Association (IBTTA)

The ball is in Capitol Hill’s court.  If scientists can clone monkeys, Congress ought to be able to figure out how to raise federal dollars to fix the Highway Trust Fund and modernize our choking National Freight Network. Those are the top two infrastructure priorities..
Pete Ruane, President & CEO, American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA)

President Trump now touts a $1.5 trillion infrastructure package, but in vague and grandiose terms that fail to address the most significant aspect of the plan: where funding will come from. If Trump relies on the private sector and forcing states and localities to come up with their own funding, Trump’s infrastructure plan could result in a patchwork of tolls that span coast to coast…We urge President Trump not to choose Wall Street over Main Street. Tolls would take money from hardworking Americans and give huge profits to toll road investors – many of which are foreign companies.
Stephanie Kane, Spokesperson, Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates (ATFI)

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