When Vice President Pence toured damage in America’s heartland caused by historic flooding in the spring of 2019, he pledged to work with Republicans and Democrats to ensure farmers and ranchers in Iowa and Nebraska receive the federal funding they need to rebuild. He was right to do so. The roads, bridges, and levies that, for generations, have allowed the Midwest to feed a nation and export food products do not function in a vacuum. Like transit systems in the Northeast or ports on the West Coast, they are all part of a complex, interconnected transportation network that allows this country, its economy, and working families to prosper — and they all deserve federal funding.
Sadly, too many elected leaders have lost sight of this. Instead of choosing to value projects based on their importance to our nation’s economy, some politicians have begun valuing projects based on the political landscape of their home states. This dangerous approach to infrastructure jeopardizes the integrity of our national system, undermines America’s position as a global economic leader, and harms working families.
2020 presidential contenders must commit to putting the needs of the American people ahead of politics, and uphold the federal government’s responsibility to help fund projects that will move us all forward.