Reading Time: < 1 minute

President Barack Obama’s proposal to spur the ailing U.S. economy by investing in transportation infrastructure is an effort to restart a stalled and chaotic process detailed by the Center for Public Integrity last year.

In a campaign-style appearance in Milwaukee on Sunday, the president proposed $50 billion in new spending next year on highways, railroads and runways. That money would serve as the down payment on a new, multiyear transportation bill that would also create a national infrastructure bank to help fund such projects.

A new bill is necessary because the previous transportation bill expired last October, and Congress has repeatedly stalled in its efforts to pass a new, multiyear bill. Last fall, a major Center project, “The Transportation Lobby,” detailed efforts to create new legislation amidst intense lobbying by almost 1,800 special interest groups. The project also illustrated how a cacophonous policy-making process for transportation had traditionally resulted in grab-bag of projects that did not serve any overriding national transportation strategy.

Help support this work

Public Integrity doesn’t have paywalls and doesn’t accept advertising so that our investigative reporting can have the widest possible impact on addressing inequality in the U.S. Our work is possible thanks to support from people like you. 

Gordon Witkin joined the Center in September 2008 following a long career at U.S. News & World Report and...