Manufacture This

The blog of the Alliance for American Manufacturing

President Trump promised an enormous plan, but the country still waits for one.

Last week, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi joined Rep. Dan Kildee and other House Democrats for a tour of ongoing water infrastructure repair projects in Flint, Michigan.

Earlier that day, Pelosi and Kildee (who represents Flint) published an opinion that used the Flint Water Crisis as a jumping-off point. It’s title: “Let Flint serve as a warning: Congress must to do more to improve the nation’s infrastructure.”

“The hard truth is, what happened to Flint is not an isolated event. Many other America’s cities and towns are just one mistake away from a similar crisis. What happened to Flint is not an anomaly—rather, it’s a warning to other communities across the country that we must get serious about repairing our aging infrastructure.”

This is not new. It’s becoming old hat to cite the regular report cards from the American Society of Civil Engineers that turn in terrible grades for the country’s public underpinnings. And polling shows people are very much O.K. with spending public money on public transportation infrastructure – indicative of what they feel about other infrastructure, like those for energy and water. 

But there has been little political appetite to tackle our evegreen infrastructure problem.

One (retiring) congressman, House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), plans to shortly put forth an infrastructure bill for consideration, but he admits it’s to start discussion for next year. “He has acknowledged enacting a major bill in the second half of an election year would be tough,” reports Roll Call. “Floor time and congressional appetite for major bills are typically constrained.”  

So I guess we’re gonna wait another year before Washington gets around to (maybe) addressing our lack of long-term infrastructure fixes that guarantee federal Buy America requirements.

No matter. I’m sure President Donald Trump (who boasted of a 10-year, $1 trillion plan during his 2016 campaign) has a laser-like focus on this chronic problem. Right? What’s he up to today?