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Klobuchar declares trillion-dollar infrastructure plan is her top 2020 policy priority

Cites 2007 collapse of Minnesota’s I-35W bridge in pushing bigger federal transportation package than Trump

Rescue workers and a dive team work off a barge after a section of the I-35W bridge collapsed in August 2007 in Minneapolis. The eight lane steel and concrete bridge spanning the Mississippi River near the city's downtown was undergoing repair work, when it collapsed during the evening rush hour. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

Sen. Amy Klobuchar announced Thursday that she would make a trillion-dollar infrastructure package her top legislative priority if she were to win the presidency in 2020.

The Minnesota Democrat’s proposal, which her campaign outlined Thursday morning, would include over $650 billion in direct federal spending on an assortment of public works projects (not just highways and bridges). And the Klobuchar is trying to draw a contrast with the on-again-off-again infrastructure plans of President Donald Trump.

An outline of the Klobuchar plan included a link to a Roll Call story about the Trump administration leaving the details of infrastructure investments to Capitol Hill.

She is also proposing a new authority to back infrastructure financing efforts.

Watch: Amy Klobuchar is running for president: Here are some congressional basics

“The Infrastructure Financing Authority will help states and localities better leverage private funds to build and maintain the nation’s outdated infrastructure. Amy would allocate an additional $25 billion in seed money to support an additional $250 to $300 billion in direct loans, loan guarantees, and other forms of credit enhancement,” the Klobuchar campaign posted on Medium.

Klobuchar’s infrastructure plan would be paid for by rolling back part of the 2018 tax code overhaul, particularly through a reduction in the corporate tax rate cut, pushing it up from 21 to 25 percent. And it goes beyond roads, bridges and transit projects.

Other pieces include school construction investments and rural broadband, which could be of particular interest as Klobuchar heads to Western Iowa on Friday and Saturday.

“Amy’s plan will help close the urban-rural divide by creating accurate broadband maps to identify areas that lack adequate access, focus on bringing high-speed internet infrastructure to areas most in need, and provide greater incentives for existing providers to use funds to upgrade their networks to cover unserved and underserved areas,” the campaign said. “Broadband creates jobs, opens new economic opportunities, and allows America to compete and succeed in an increasingly digital world.”

As part of the plans, she wants to revive the Obama-era Build America Bonds for infrastructure projects, as well as a similar new bond initiative for backing investments in clean energy.

 

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