Renewing America’s infrastructure is a key role of the executive branch of government. However, former President Donald Trump did not have his own plan passed. As Biden develops a more ambitious plan, several questions are being asked as to how he would get things done. A pertinent interrogation is if Biden needs to bring back good old-fashioned pork-barrel politics for this purpose. This article published in Governing is by Donald F. Kettl:
President Biden is boldly going where President Trump only tentatively went before: toward a large-scale plan to rebuild the nation’s troubled infrastructure. Trump didn’t get his program passed. If Biden is to have a chance, does he need to bring back good old-fashioned pork-barrel politics? There’s a strong argument that a return to the era of earmarks is the only way to get the job done.
Trump’s plan seemed to be his one sure-to-pass, bipartisan piece of legislation. There wasn’t a single member of Congress who didn’t have bridges and roads that needed repair, and the lure of ribbon-cuttings seemed irresistible. His $1.5 trillion program, however, withered because there was fierce disagreement on how to pay for it.
Now Biden is back with an even larger plan, proposing to spend $2 trillion on everything from roads and bridges to eliminating lead pipes, shifting to cleaner energy and promoting economic equity. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg called the nation’s infrastructure problems “a threat to our collective future.” The World Economic Forum and Statista rank the U.S. 13th in the world in quality of infrastructure, far behind the leader, Singapore. The case, the administration argues, seems unarguable.
Read the full article here.