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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Bill Nelson and Democrats try to jump-start Trump's infrastructure promises



WASHINGTON - Senate Democrats, including Bill Nelson, sought today to pressure President Trump to make good on one of his biggest campaign promises: a massive investment in infrastructure.

Nelson joined colleagues in announcing a plan for $1 trillion in transportation and other infrastructure projects over 10 years, and said it would create more than 15 million new jobs and provide funding to repair roads and bridges, expand bus and rail systems, modernize ports and rebuild public schools.

"Florida is growing at a rate of nearly 1,000 people per day," Nelson said. “You can imagine the toll that’s taking on our state’s infrastructure. This is our chance to make some much-needed repairs and create millions of new jobs in the process.”

Trump's plan could face resistance among some Republicans concerned about spending so much.

Nelson singled out areas in the proposal:

- $180 billion to improve and expand bus and rail systems, which could be used to restore Amtrak service along Florida’s Gulf Coast and extend Sunrail service in Orlando.

- $10 billion to modernize ports and waterways, which could be used to speed up repairs being made to the Herbert Hoover Dike and deepen the ports in Jacksonville and Ft. Lauderdale to accommodate the new mega ships coming through the expanded Panama Canal

- $210 billion to fix crumbling roads and bridges.

The plan, according to Nelson's office, includes $30 billion for airport improvements, $10 billion to construct new Veterans Affairs facilities and $75 billion to modernize public schools.

[Last modified: Tuesday, January 24, 2017 1:17pm]


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