The chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America, Stephen E. Sandherr, released the following statement in reaction to the proposed fiscal year 2018 budget released today by the Trump administration:
"While it is tempting to identify specific elements of the President's proposed budget that we like and other elements that cause us concern, the fact is members of Congress will likely continue to exercise their Constitutional responsibility to set the federal budget. Therefore it is better to see this document for what it is, a policy statement designed to provoke significant and productive debate about the best way to address the nation's aging infrastructure while simultaneously suggesting appropriate spending priorities.
"As a policy document, this budget provides an important, and much-needed, first step in identifying the best ways to pay for needed improvements, and expansions, to our aging infrastructure. The President rightly appreciates the need to increase investment levels significantly above current amounts. Moving forward, we plan to work with Congress and the administration to identify the right balance of private and public funds and establish long-term, sustainable funding sources that will allow us to repair and improve infrastructure for decades to come.
"We also look forward to working with Congress and the administration to identify the best way to set broader federal spending priorities. We need to make sure federal officials prioritize spending in a way that continues to promote robust economic growth and begins to produce well-educated, well-trained workers for every sector of our economy.
"While it is easy to criticize specific elements of this or any other proposed budget, the President should be commended for doing what too few other politicians have been willing to do: make it clear that we need to make tough choices about future spending priorities, be willing to rethink long-held programmatic assumptions, significantly increase funding for America's infrastructure and find new ways to leverage private-sector resources to supplement federal investments."
For more information, visit www.agc.org.