July 13, 2020 4:15 PM, EDT

Biden Points to Infrastructure Absent Trump’s Plan

Joe BidenOn his campaign website, Joe Biden says he wants to “mobilize American ingenuity to build a modern infrastructure and an equitable, clean energy future.” (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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In the before-times, then-Vice President Joe Biden said LaGuardia Airport resembled infrastructure out of the “Third World.” At the time, there were people who filed the moment as a classic Bidenism.

But the former Veep’s sentiment would go on to resonate with travelers, many of whom long complained national airports just don’t look right. Not to mention, trains here are not as fast as the trains in other parts of the world. The major bridges here look older than the bridges in other countries, and there are too many potholes here, and traffic is horrendous here, and the list goes on.

Since the time Biden put the New York City airport on blast, plenty has happened in the world. For instance, the 2020 pandemic paralyzed parts of economies around the world. Domestically, the response to the COVID-19 crisis exposed myriad inadequacies in a variety of sectors, such as commercial and passenger transportation. State and local governments quickly reminded constituents of the transit system’s value, while freight executives emphasized truckers’ heroic contributions.

Eugene Mulero


As the White House and Congress consider the next round of economic stimulus, Biden’s opponents have criticized his periodical in-basement guidance, which, among other things, has included dedicating greater attention to infrastructure projects.

In background posted on his campaign website, the 2020 presumptive Democratic presidential candidate wants to “mobilize American ingenuity to build a modern infrastructure and an equitable, clean energy future.”

“We’ve seen the need for a more resilient economy for the long-term, and that means investing in a modern, sustainable infrastructure and sustainable engines of growth — from roads and bridges, to energy grids and schools, to universal broadband,” according to his plan.

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A Biden White House would be expected to urge Republicans on the Hill to begin embracing climate resilience. In the recent House-passed $1.5 trillion infrastructure package, Democrats pursued a sustainable vision for infrastructure.

Like Biden, Trump has likened various aspects of the country’s infrastructure to that of the “Third World.” Yet, Trump has stopped short of outlining an infrastructure plan this year. The White House appears to be dragging its feet on offering long-term funding proposals for highway projects.

For now, Biden and Trump have the COVID-19 crisis to worry about. In the meantime, the critical steps necessary to enact federal infrastructure proposals are just not there. If left unattended, the country’s “Third World” infrastructure will continue to spread.

The Week Ahead (all times Eastern)

July 13-14, 915 a.m.: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee meets via teleconference to examine changes to the package and small goods delivery sector.

Robert Kaplan


July 13, 1 p.m.: The National Press Club hosts a webcast with Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Robert Kaplan.

July 14, 10 a.m.: The House Appropriations Committee considers fiscal 2021 transportation funding legislation.

July 14, noon: The Environmental and Energy Study Institute hosts a webcast to examine the House Democrats’ climate action report.

July 14, 1 p.m.: The House Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee meets for a hearing titled, “Energy Infrastructure and Environmental Justice: Lessons for a Sustainable Future.”

July 14, 6:30 p.m.: Jill Biden participates in a virtual chat to focus on Latino concerns.

July 15, 11 a.m.: The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research hosts a webinar titled, “Mexico vs. Coronavirus: Can the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement Save Mexico’s Economy?”

July 15, 1 p.m.: The U.S. Department of Transportation hosts the National Pedestrian Safety Summit.

Anne Ferro


July 16, 11 a.m.: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration deputy administrator James Owens hosts a webinar titled, “The Automated Vehicle Transparency and Engagement for Safe Testing Initiative.” Participants include Federal Transit Administration acting Administrator Jane Williams; American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators CEO Anne Ferro; Governors Highway Safety Association Executive Director Jonathan Adkins; and American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Director of Safety and Mobility King Gee.

Freight Corridor

The American experience demands exceptional infrastructure.


A House panel will take up water infrastructure policy legislation this week.

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A veteran in the U.S. Senate is the target of a Fox News host’s criticism.

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The Last Word

I’ve never been against masks, but I do believe they have a time and a place.

President Donald Trump on July 11

Donald Trump

We publish weekly when Congress is in session. E-mail with tips. Follow us @eugenemulero and @transporttopics.

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