What You Can Do

Questions to Ask Your Member of Congress

  • Do you agree with Secretary Carson's stance on making life that much harder and uncomfortable for those who benefit from HUD programs?

Why is there still no infrastructure bill?

In an exclusive interview with the New York Times, President Trump indicated that he may attach infrastructure funding to a new health care bill, since it has bipartisan support. Specifically, the President said, "Yeah. I may put it in with something else because it's a very popular thing. We've spent $6 trillion in the Middle East, as of two months ago … uh, $6 trillion ... and yet we can't fix our own roads and our own highways. And our bridges, which are, in many cases, in very bad shape. And we're going to have a very big infrastructure plan. And bill. And it's going to come soon. And I think we'll have support from Democrats and Republicans."

Rise Stronger does not support this approach. Infrastructure investments, community development, and citizen minded public-private partnerships are not sweeteners for a deal – they are real policy issues.

The Trump Administration has not delivered an infrastructure plan, let alone a bill.

Trump's Unmet and Broken Promises on Infrastructure and Urban Policy

"We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals." Trump victory speech, November 9, 2016. Link

"We're going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none." Trump victory speech, November 9, 2016. Link

"And we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild [our infrastructure]." Trump victory speech, November 9, 2016. Link

"We want the traveling public to have the greatest customer service and with an absolute minimum of delays." Donald Trump meeting with Airline executives. February 9, 2017. Link

Trump promised to "transform America's crumbling infrastructure into a golden opportunity for accelerated economic growth and more rapid productivity gains with a deficit-neutral plan targeting substantial new infrastructure investments." Donald J Trump for President Campaign Website: Infrastructure Plan, January 28, 2017. Link

Trump promised to "pursue an 'America's Infrastructure First' policy that supports investments in transportation, clean water, a modern and reliable electricity grid, telecommunications, security infrastructure, and other pressing domestic infrastructure needs." Donald J Trump for President Campaign Website: Infrastructure Plan, January 28, 2017. Link

Trump promised to "refocus government spending on American infrastructure and away from the Obama-Clinton globalization agenda." Donald J Trump for President Campaign Website: Infrastructure Plan, January 28, 2017. Link

Trump promised to "provide maximum flexibility to the states." Donald J Trump for President Campaign Website: Infrastructure Plan, January 28, 2017. Link

Trump promised to "create thousands of new jobs in construction, steel manufacturing, and other sectors to build the transportation, water, telecommunications and energy infrastructure needed to enable new economic development in the U.S., all of which will generate new tax revenues." Donald J Trump for President Campaign Website: Infrastructure Plan, January 28, 2017. Link

Trump promised to "put American steel made by American workers into the backbone of America's infrastructure." Donald J Trump for President Campaign Website: Infrastructure Plan, January 28, 2017. Link

Trump promised to "leverage new revenues and work with financing authorities, public-private partnerships, and other prudent funding opportunities." Donald J Trump for President Campaign Website: Infrastructure Plan, January 28, 2017. Link

Trump promised to "harness market forces to help attract new private infrastructure investments through a deficit-neutral system of infrastructure tax credits." Donald J Trump for President Campaign Website: Infrastructure Plan, January 28, 2017. Link

Trump promised to "implement a bold, visionary plan for a cost-effective system of roads, bridges, tunnels, airports, railroads, ports and waterways, and pipelines in the proud tradition of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who championed the interstate highway system." Donald J Trump for President Campaign Website: Infrastructure Plan, January 28, 2017. Link

Trump promised to "link increases in spending to reforms that streamline permitting and approvals, improve the project delivery system, and cut wasteful spending on boondoggles." Donald J Trump for President Campaign Website: Infrastructure Plan, January 28, 2017. Link

Trump promised to "employ incentive-based contracting to ensure projects are on time and on budget." Donald J Trump for President Campaign Website: Infrastructure Plan, January 28, 2017. Link

Trump promised to "approve private sector energy infrastructure projects—including pipelines and coal export facilities—to better connect American coal and shale energy production with markets and consumers." Donald J Trump for President Campaign Website: Infrastructure Plan, January 28, 2017. Link

Trump promised to "work with Congress to modernize our airports and air traffic control systems, end long wait times, and reform the FAA and TSA, while also ensuring that American travelers are safe from terrorism and other threats." Donald J Trump for President Campaign Website: Infrastructure Plan, January 28, 2017. Link

Trump promised to "incorporate new technologies and innovations into our national transportation system such as state-of-the-art pipelines, advancements in maritime commerce, and the next generation of vehicles." Donald J Trump for President Campaign Website: Infrastructure Plan, January 28, 2017. Link

Trump promised to "make clean water a high priority. Develop a long-term water infrastructure plan with city, state and federal leaders to upgrade aging water systems. Triple funding for state revolving loan fund programs to help states and local governments upgrade critical drinking water and wastewater infrastructure." Donald J Trump for President Campaign Website: Infrastructure Plan, January 28, 2017. Link

Trump promised to "link increased investments with positive reforms to infrastructure programs that reduce waste and cut costs. Complete projects faster and at lower cost through significant regulatory reform and ending needless red-tape." Donald J Trump for President Campaign Website: Infrastructure Plan, January 28, 2017. Link

As you will see from later updates, Trump continues to break these promises.

Secretary Carson: Affordability and Livability are Mutually Exclusive?

HUD Secretary Ben Carson continues his tour across the country to view affordable housing and public housing developments. Secretary Ben Carson lamented the "luxuries" afforded to residents and noted that cramped, stacked cots in a homeless shelter were much more to his liking. As he explained to the New York Times, compassion is not giving an incredibly vulnerable population "a comfortable setting that would make somebody want to say: 'I'll just stay here. They will take care of me,'" adding "There is another group of people who are able-bodied individuals, and I think we do those people a great disservice when we simply maintain them."

Ben Carson's comments disregards the nearly 2.1 million seniors, people with disabilities, and low-income households that are served by public housing.

He also disregards the historical context. From the early 1930s to the 1980s, the United States did build affordable housing units that according to some were designed to be uncomfortable in order to discourage long-term, stable living conditions. What we got as a result were segregated complexes in substandard living conditions. that concentrated extremely low-income families in specific neighborhoods, continuing the cycle of poverty. The Rise team is against turning the clock back to Pruitt-Igo standards.

Water Infrastructure Security

The House Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment will hold a hearing next week to examine the status of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) implementation of its integrated planning policy. The Subcommittee will focus on ways EPA can work with states and municipalities to develop integrated stormwater and wastewater requirements to achieve greater flexibility for communities to meet their Clean Water Act compliance obligations and maximize their limited resources to benefit to the communities they serve. This comes right after Michigan State University released a paper showing that water prices will have to increase by 41 percent in the next five years to cover the costs of replacing aging water infrastructure and adapting to climate change.

According to the American Water Works Association (AWWA), on average we pay less than half a penny for a gallon of water. But "it doesn't mean there aren't families that struggle to pay," said Greg Kail, the communications director at AWWA. And people in poorer states like Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Kentucky, and Arkansas are especially at risk of not being able to pay their water bills.

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 9.53.52 AM.png

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 9.53.28 AM.png

Continuing Coverage: CBP Withdraws Proposed Changes To Jones Act

Workboat reports in continuing coverage that U.S. Customs and Border Protection has withdrawn "its proposed changes to Jones Act rules that would have closed the door to foreign-flag operators in the Gulf of Mexico." According to the article, CBP's "decision is a setback for U.S.-flag operators, shipbuilders and allies who had high hopes the Trump administration's 'buy American, hire American' mantra would preserve one of the last policy moves under the outgoing Obama administration." At the same time, the move "is a victory for the international operators and their oil industry supporters" who "contended that a new CBP policy would lock out foreign-flag operators and equipment to the detriment of the overall Gulf of Mexico industry." (Forbes 5/11, Marine Link 5/10, PennEnergy 5/11, E&E Publishing 5/11)