Story at a glance

  • Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg launched a detailed $1 trillion infrastructure plan.
  • The plan is centered on sustainable development and promises six million jobs in the process.
  • The plan features expanding broadband coverage, a fund to protect against rising sea levels, and a cybersecurity task force.

Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg pledged $1 trillion to infrastructure projects over the course of a decade if he is elected, promising to create six million jobs in the process.

The money will go toward "working with states, cities, and other local governments to build the sustainable infrastructure of the 21st century," Buttigieg said in a statement on his campaign website

"The current administration has been incapable of keeping its promise to pass major infrastructure legislation, and critical projects around the country are stalled because of it," Buttigieg said in his statement. "Meanwhile, our roads and bridges crumble, our schools fall into disrepair, water systems poison our children, and our flood protection systems fail as climate change accelerates."

Many of Buttigieg's planned infrastructure policies focus on community development and support, specifically through expanding and repairing roads and public transportation, and bringing broadband coverage and clean drinking water to rural communities. 

Job creation is another key component of the former mayor’s plan, aiming to create approximately 6 million “well-paying jobs” with labor support through infrastructure projects. Buttigieg also intends to create transition funds for workers to help former mining and fossil fuel employees find footing in a clean energy economy. 

In regards to public transportation infrastructure, Buttigieg’s vision is to provide “equitable public transportation” to improve existing subways, bus transits and light rails, as well as expanding transportation access for rural communities. Buttigieg’s plan calls to invest $162 billion in these expansive public transportation projects. 

Buttigieg also intends to repair half of major roads and structurally unsound bridges by 2030. Under a Buttigieg administration, stricter requirements would be issued for the State of Good Repair Management and to create a $50 billion grant program for states to fix deficient bridges. 

“Under my administration, local governments will finally have a partner in Washington,” Buttigieg said in the plan. “As a former mayor, I know that priority-based budgets made locally are better than budget-based priorities set in Washington.”

Repairing poor road conditions is also part of his larger bid to improve road safety, especially in rural areas. He cites statistics that show that 50 percent of traffic deaths occur on rural roads. In addition, Buttigieg mentions rejuvenating the Highway Trust Fund by adding $165 billion into its reserves. 

Buttigieg’s ambitious plan also calls for modernized projects, such as a $40 billion Sea Level Defense Fund and flood resilience projects, a Cyber-Protection Task Force, and deploying full high-speed broadband coverage under an initiative titled Internet For All. He also promises to inject $100 billion into a Lead-Safe Communities Fund to ensure clean drinking water and help households afford it through a Drinking Water Assistance Matching Fund. 

In each section outlining his infrastructure plans, Buttigieg listed major projects across the U.S. that have stalled and how his proposed policies would fast track them to completion. He attributes the delays to the current administration, saying that it “has been incapable of keeping its promise to pass major infrastructure legislation” and that “our roads and bridges crumble, our schools fall into disrepair, water systems poison our children, and our flood protection systems fail as climate change accelerates.”

Speaking to Reuters, Buttigieg’s campaign said that it will pay for the infrastructure projects by “reforming the capital gains tax and repealing U.S. President Donal Trump’s tax cuts.”

 

Published on Jan 10, 2020