Sanders: Increase infrastructure spending

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersOn The Money: Shutdown hits Day 24 | Trump touts need for wall in speech to farmers | Poll numbers sag | House Dems push stopgap bills | How the shutdown could harm the economy | TSA absences raise stakes for deal Overnight Health Care: House Dems launch major drug pricing investigation | Judge blocks Trump contraception rule rollback | Booker tries to shake doubts about pharmaceutical ties ahead of 2020 | FDA to resume high-risk food inspections Gillibrand to kickstart 2020 White House bid before weekend Iowa trip MORE (I-Vt.) said Saturday that he plans to introduce legislation in the next Congress that will increase infrastructure spending to fix America's roads and bridges.

The announcement is likely to only fuel speculation that Sanders is considering a Democratic run for president in 2016, despite trailing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and others in early polling.

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Sanders said his plan would authorize a $1 trillion, multi-year program to rebuild crumbling roads and bridges while investing in other infrastructure modernization projects.

The independent senator, who will be the top Democrat on the Senate Budget Committee in the new Congress, said his proposal would also put 13 million Americans to work.

“America once led the world in building and maintaining a nationwide network of safe and reliable bridges and roads," he said in a statement. "Let's rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. Let's make our country safer and more efficient.  Let's put millions of Americans back to work."

Progressives frequently advocate for the government to increase its spending in infrastructure to grow the economy.

Republicans are skeptical of increasing government spending to stimulate economic growth, citing concerns about the national deficit and big government overreach.