WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee, released the following statement on the Democratic Infrastructure plan released Wednesday.
“Investing in America’s infrastructure is one of the best ways Congress and the federal government can spur economic growth today and into the future. Democrats have put forward a strong, honest proposal that provides real federal leadership in rebuilding and maintaining America’s roads, bridges, drinking- and wastewater systems, and other critical infrastructure. This is in stark contrast to the Trump charade of a plan that spends more effort gutting environmental laws than investing in ways to modernize our transportation system or protect clean air and clean water. And unlike the Republican tax scheme pushed through by President Trump that added more than a trillion dollars to our deficit, the Democratic plan responsibly pays for our investments by rolling back some of the tax breaks that primarily benefit wealthier corporations and households.
“Americans have a right to expect that water coming from their taps is safe to drink and that Congress will do everything within its power to ensure that happens. For years, I have authored legislation and supported proposals to rebuild America’s unseen water infrastructure, which is an important part of our daily lives and helps grow our economy, protect our environment and promote public health. The Democratic infrastructure plan invests $115 billion to modernize America’s water and sewer systems. The plan also adds $30 billion to modernize America’s waterways and ports, which would benefit the Port of Baltimore and, as such, the entire region. Investing in water infrastructure is smart growth, as the U.S. Conference of Mayors has calculated that, for every federal dollar invested in water infrastructure, our economy enjoys $6 of growth.
“The Trump/Republican infrastructure scheme sets up a false choice between improving infrastructure and improving our environment and protections for American workers. Marylanders and all Americans know that we do not need to choose a safe and healthy environment, fair pay, or improved infrastructure. Each of these can be achieved in concert with the others.
“Our Democratic Infrastructure plan also provides $3 billion over ten years above the FAST Act funding level for the Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) funds, which are locally driven programs to expand pedestrian and bike routes. I was proud to work across the aisle with Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) to increase funding for this program over the years. Getting more people walking and biking provides the benefits of reduced traffic congestion, improved air quality, and a healthier lifestyle.”