The White House is Turning to Infrastructure

Matthew McMullan

Matthew McMullan Communications Manager, AAM

President Trump has set himself a busy schedule of watchin’ Fox and Friends, getting his facts from an unfolding terror attack from Twitter, and using a tragedy on the streets of London to reheat some old beef with that city’s mayor.

I mean there’s only so much time in the day!

But clear some space: The White House has announced it is now Infrastructure Week.

Oh yes. The Trump administration plans to lay out its vision of a federal infrastructure package in the next few days. To kick it off, it’s announcing an effort to privatize the national air traffic control system:

Then he’s headed to Cincinnati (the Queen City) to talk about water infrastructure projects. Then he’s bringing the show back to DC to mayors and governors about the infrasturcture plans.

President Trump likes talking about infrastructure. His advisers cranked out a plan for spending on roads, bridge, and waterways in late October, just before the election. A later iteration of it promised $1 trillion in funding over a decade, though it was pretty sketchy on the details of how it planned to pay for it.

That $1 trillion number hasn’t changed. All the associated details remain unclear, too, notes the Wall Street Journal:

The White House still hasn’t said how it plans to pay for the federal government’s share of the projects, and officials said a more detailed proposal will come at an unspecified later date. But Mr. Trump’s top economic adviser said the administration aims to encourage states and cities to bear much of the burden.

For what it’s worth: The federal government’s “share” is supposed to be $200 billion, which is expected to spur the other $800 billion from private investors and state and local governments.

But no one knows where that initial money is gonna come from. The Economic Policy Institute points out infrastructure gets little attention  in Trump’s recent budget proposal, and some on Capitol Hill aren’t holding their breath. The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) spoke with Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), a member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, about an infrastructure bill’s prospects on Capitol Hill and its funding structure – and he was skeptical.

In between now and the next infrastructure-related event, the president will most likely dramatically change the subject with an early morning tweet or two. But rest assured: AAM will be watching closely to see what kind of details his infrastructure plan will include. Some set-in-stone Buy America assurances would be a good start.

Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Association of Letter Carriers

From the AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Name of Union: National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

Mission: To unite fraternally all city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service for their mutual benefit; to obtain and secure rights as employees of the USPS and to strive at all times to promote the safety and the welfare of every member; to strive for the constant improvement of the Postal Service; and for other purposes. NALC is a single-craft union and is the sole collective-bargaining agent for city letter carriers.

Current Leadership of Union: Fredric V. Rolando serves as president of NALC, after being sworn in as the union's 18th president in 2009. Rolando began his career as a letter carrier in 1978 in South Miami before moving to Sarasota in 1984. He was elected president of Branch 2148 in 1988 and served in that role until 1999. In the ensuing years, he worked in various roles for NALC before winning his election as a national officer in 2002, when he was elected director of city delivery. In 2006, he won election as executive vice president. Rolando was re-elected as NALC president in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Brian Renfroe serves as executive vice president, Lew Drass as vice president, Nicole Rhine as secretary-treasurer, Paul Barner as assistant secretary-treasurer, Christopher Jackson as director of city delivery, Manuel L. Peralta Jr. as director of safety and health, Dan Toth as director of retired members, Stephanie Stewart as director of the Health Benefit Plan and James W. “Jim” Yates as director of life insurance.

Number of Members: 291,000 active and retired letter carriers.

Members Work As: City letter carriers.

Industries Represented: The United States Postal Service.

History: In 1794, the first letter carriers were appointed by Congress as the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution was being put into effect. By the time of the Civil War, free delivery of city mail was established and letter carriers successfully concluded a campaign for the eight-hour workday in 1888. The next year, letter carriers came together in Milwaukee and the National Association of Letter Carriers was formed.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work