Farm Groups Applaud Trump Infrastructure Proposal

February 12, 2018 12:16 PM
President Trump's infrastructure plan allocates funds to improvements in rural America.

On Monday, the Trump Administration released a $1.5 trillion dollar plan to rebuild and revitalize America’s infrastructure. The agriculture industry, which has long-voiced concerns over America’s roadways, waterways and railways, is pleased with the attention given to rural America in the proposal.

“President Trump’s ‘Building a Stronger America’ plan promises to bring long overdue improvements to the country roads, bridges and broader infrastructure that farmers and ranchers depend on to reach customers at home and abroad,” said Zippy Duval, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. “While past infrastructure plans have left rural America in the dust, this administration has not forgotten the rural communities that form the backbone of our nation.”

According to Duval, the $50 billion allocated to rural America will “help restore our deteriorating infrastructure and protect U.S. agriculture’s place as a world leader in production.”

The president’s plan gives local government the authority to spend funds as they see fit.  

“President Trump has made it a priority to rebuild our infrastructure since the day he took office and he has followed through on that commitment. No area of the country needs investment in infrastructure more than rural America. With a quarter of the new federal money heading to rural parts of the country, states will have the ability to expand broadband access, increase connectivity, rebuild roads, and supply affordable utilities,” said Sonny Perdue, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. “Importantly, states will have the flexibility to choose which projects will best meet their unique needs.”

The National Farmers Union said this plan is the first step to rebuilding America’s cracked infrastructure system.

“We are encouraged that the Administration is acknowledging the need for significant investment in rural infrastructure. With over $3.6 trillion required to overcome decades of deferred maintenance, our nation’s roads, bridges, rails, locks and dams, water and waste systems, and rural broadband are in desperate need of robust funding,” NFU president Roger Johnson said in a statement. “We look forward to working with Congress to maximize opportunities to improve rural America’s failing infrastructure.”

The Work Begins

In March, the Senate Commerce Committee will start holding hearings to help inform legislative efforts on the administration’s proposal.

“Through this guidance and letting Congress have the opportunity to write bipartisan legislation, President Trump has offered us direction to meet infrastructure needs in our nation’s states, cities, and rural communities,” said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) Thune chairman of the committee. “Aligning federal infrastructure funding with local priorities and looking at other impediments to building would increase accountability and help us meet our most critical infrastructure needs faster.”

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), ranking member on the committee, said he looks forward to working with the committee to craft a bill that will garner “broad support” and include ideas from both sides of the aisle.

“Modernizing our transportation and communication networks is something we all agree the U.S. desperately needs in order to create more jobs and maintain our leadership in the global economy,” he said.

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Spell Check

Western, NE
2/12/2018 05:25 PM

  I'll believe it when I see it! Even if it does make it down to the local level, our keepers of the roads will screw up the application process. Between the commissioners and roads superintendent, they'd fork up a wet dream!!

bad axe, MI
2/12/2018 07:03 PM

  This whole proposal is based on all private sector money , what dose that mean. Well it means toll roads and bridges all over the place. Longer travel time and high cost travel for everyone . You will have to have a 5 gallon bucket of quarters in you truck to throw it in every toll booth on your trip to the elevator. That's the reality of this proposal.

Augusta, ME
2/13/2018 08:08 AM

  Good luck! The last administration also attempted to get infrastructure done but failed miserably because they couldn't get the funding. I realize the funding source was different then what's currently proposed, however, I'd be very surprised if this administration is any more successful in their attempt.