Partisan bickering could delay solution to infrastructure issues

Most lawmakers seem to agree on the problem, but politics could get in the way of finding a solution

FILE - In this Oct. 15, 2015, file photo, vehicles pass a highway construction site on Interstate 80 in Sacramento, Calif.
FILE - In this Oct. 15, 2015, file photo, vehicles pass a highway construction site on Interstate 80 in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) – Republicans say one of their biggest goals for 2018 is passing a plan to rebuild the nation’s roads, bridges and airports.

Most lawmakers seem to agree on the problem, but politics could get in the way of finding a solution.

“I think it’s about time we reinvest in fixing our crumbling roads and bridges,” said Representative Rodney Davis, an Illinois Republican.

Ohio Republican Congressman Steve Stivers said his district needs more than just new roads and bridges.

“Getting access to broadband services will help their jobs, will help their healthcare, will help their education,” he said.

Congressman Dan Kildee, a Michigan Democrat, said rebuilding infrastructure will help build the middle class.

“If we don’t deal with this problem, it’s really going to be difficult to see the kind of economic growth that gives every American an opportunity,” he said.

Both sides agree infrastructure needs to be restored, but the job will be costly. The debate will likely center on how to pay for it.

Congressman Davis says it’s up to Democratic lawmakers to make this a bipartisan effort.

“If they decided to walk away from the table on infrastructure, what are they going to work together in a bipartisan way over the entire next year?” he said.

Democratic lawmakers like Kildee say Republicans have a different definition of bipartisanship.

“Recently, bipartisanship seems like Republicans write the bill, they don’t include the process, but at the very end they tell us, ‘You should vote for this and make it bipartisan,'” he said.

Kildee said Republicans should include Democratic lawmakers in the process from the very beginning, instead of writing the bill behind closed doors.

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