Candidates on both sides believe that U.S. infrastructure needs to be addressed and the American Society of Civil Engineers recently gave the infrastructure a D+ citing dilapidated roadways, insufficient waterways and "a pressing need for modernization. However, no one can agree on how to fix this issue.
Director of the Metropolitan Infrastructure Initiative at the Brookings Institution Robert Puentes recently explained the broadness of the issue and difficulties in fixing it. He spoke on the overemphasis people place on the federal government to fix the problem, which they cannot do alone:
In reality, the federal government has a big regulatory role in a lot of ways. But when it comes to overall spending and impact, it's relatively small. If you take the sectors of transportation and water, which are two that folks generally think are the dominion of the public sector, the federal share of spending is only about 27 percent. Other modes like freight rail and telecommunications and some energy investment, there's almost no federal investment. They have a regulatory component to it, but they're not the ones who are doing the spending.