This past February, while declaring that infrastructure shouldn't be politicized, President Obama underscored its increasingly ideological nature in the United States. "Infrastructure shouldn't be a partisan issue," he said in front of a recently renovated St. Paul, Minnesota, train station. "Unfortunately, there have been some Republicans in Congress who refuse to act on common sense proposals."
In theory, infrastructure is not partisan, since both parties agree that it is highly necessary, and severely under-maintained. The divide is over which level of government should operate it. Since 1956, when the federal highway fund was formed, building transportation infrastructure, in particular, has been mostly a federal task, funded at 80 percent levels by the federal gas tax. But recent estimates suggest that the fund could soon run out, prompting the President that day to propose a new $300 billion plan.