© 2021 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Sherrod Brown Concerned About Trump's Desire To Privatize National Infrastructure

Ohio U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown
J. Scott Applewhite

Since President Trump was elected, Ohio’s Democratic U.S. Senator has talked about infrastructure as an area where they could potentially work together. But the details trickling out about the president’s plan have Sherrod Brown concerned.

President Trump is proposing a $1.5 trillion overhaul of everything from the nation’s broadband network to its highway system over the next 10 years. But less than a fifth of that would come from the federal government. Much of the remaining funding would come from private investment, which would levy tolls, and from local and state governments that maintain they’re already strapped.

The administration also is talking about waiving environmental regulations for projects. Brown argues that’s not a way to rebuild the system.

“We shouldn’t be doing infrastructure in the sort of Wall Street way of rolling back environmental rules, tolling roads – these so called Trump tolls that some are calling this,” Brown said. “You simply can’t toll everything and think it creates enough money to do real infrastructure.”

Brown also objects to suggestions that prevailing wage should be waived on the projects to bring the costs down. He and other Democrats have proposed an alternative $1 trillion plan they say would create 15 million jobs over 10 years.