National League of Cities Response to Infrastructure Proposal by Senate Democrats

March 7, 2018 - (3 min read)

WASHINGTON – March 7, 2018 – Today, Senate Democratic leaders released a plan to make a $1 trillion federal investment to modernize America’s infrastructure. The National League of Cities (NLC) has called on the administration and Congress to rebuild America’s infrastructure with cities, and this new proposal is a positive next step toward crafting a bipartisan infrastructure package. In response, NLC CEO and Executive Director Clarence E. Anthony released the following statement:

“On behalf of cities, towns and villages across America, the National League of Cities is pleased to see that Senate Democrats are engaging in the infrastructure policy process and putting constructive ideas and federal investment on the negotiating table. Cities are committed to partnering with Congress and states to fix America’s infrastructure, and we welcome proposals like this that would rebuild across the country and ensure our workforce is prepared to fill these jobs.

“The Blueprint 2.0 proposal contains productive policy solutions and addresses critical infrastructure needs for cities including water, transportation, broadband and workforce development. As 2,000 city leaders are convening in Washington for the Congressional City Conference next week to discuss how the federal government can take productive steps to work collaboratively with cities, this proposal shows that a bipartisan bill is within reach. We look forward to getting a commitment from every member of Congress that they will seriously consider how a national infrastructure bill helps their hometowns.”

Cities call on Congress to frame an infrastructure plan that works collaboratively with cities and reflects five guiding principles:

  1. SUSTAINABLE INVESTMENT: Together, cities and our federal partners must address the existing core infrastructure backlog, reestablish long-term funding and use new technologies that will serve America’s cities for the next 100 years.
  2. LOCALLY-DRIVEN PROJECTS: Local leaders, from cities large and small, are best positioned to identify where infrastructure needs are greatest and should be given a stronger voice in how limited federal dollars are invested.
  3. FEDERAL-LOCAL PARTNERSHIP: Cities are already paying their fair share and need a steady federal partner to fund existing national programs and make significant capital investments for the long-term benefit of the economy.
  4. EXPAND REVENUE TOOLS: Cities should be given more flexibility to raise revenues and use innovative financing techniques while protecting existing tools, such as tax-exempt bonds, to drive regional investments that tie into the national network.
  5. REBUILD AND REIMAGINE: Cities are leading the way in building intermodal, sustainable and interconnected infrastructure networks that support a modern economy. Congress must invest in cities’ vision to rebuild and reimagine America’s infrastructure.

Fixing America’s infrastructure will take significant additional commitment from every level of government – federal, state and local – without letting up on progress that can be made through existing infrastructure programs. Cities already pay for the lion’s share of America’s transportation and water infrastructure, but the needs far exceed cities’ budgets and the costs are growing.

In a recent survey, 92 percent of cities reported an increase in infrastructure costs. Cities hands are also tied when it comes to additional revenue raising: 47 states put one or more limitations on common ways cities can raise funds for infrastructure, and federal legislation to ensure a fair online marketplace has stalled, hurting both municipal budgets and small businesses. Sustainable, dependable federal investment in national systems must come with state commitments to lift excessive barriers on cities’ revenue tools to have all levels of government fully participating in filling the nation’s infrastructure gap.

In January, NLC began calling on the Administration and Congress to Rebuild With Us, a national campaign dedicated to strengthening the federal-local partnership with investments in transportation, water, workforce and broadband infrastructure.



The National League of Cities (NLC) is the voice of America’s cities, towns and villages, representing more than 200 million people across the country. NLC works to strengthen local leadership, influence federal policy and drive innovative solutions. Stay connected with NLC on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.