Statement by Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain in response to President Donald Trump’s infrastructure proposal announced today:
President Trump has repeatedly called for greater investment in America’s infrastructure, which is in dire need of repair. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, our country’s grade on infrastructure is a D-plus. The President has been right about the urgency and scale of our nation’s infrastructure crisis; however, his plan is nothing more than a shell game with funding for critical investments coming from anywhere but the federal government.
In Oregon, Governor Kate Brown understands the need for transportation investment. She proved that by leading the charge in 2017 to put thousands of Oregonians to work while improving our roads, bridges and expanding public transit. In contrast, President Trump’s proposal relies more on accounting gimmicks and Wall Street investors than on a new federal commitment. If he is serious about fixing our nation’s infrastructure problem, President Trump could learn a lot from Governor Kate Brown’s approach.
For lawmakers in Washington DC to show they are serious about building America and ensuring the safety of everyone who uses our roads, bridges, and rails, they need to step up with trillions of dollars in new federal infrastructure investment. Any such investment must support American jobs, resources, and products and include high labor standards, good wages, and compliance with safety standards. Americans are ready to get to work on these important projects, but the latest proposal from our President is a sleight of hand tactic designed to sound good while accomplishing very little. Our roads, bridges, and rails need more than that, as do the working people who rely every day on our infrastructure. We need action, not empty words.