'It's Time Finally to Put America First': Trump Touts New Infrastructure Plan

Alvin Kelly
June 8, 2017

Matt Bevin and two lieutenant governors from OH, the president laid out details to pay for infrastructure improvements with $200 billion in tax breaks, which Trump said he hopes will leverage $1 trillion worth of construction over time.

"To achieve our full economic strength", Trump said, "we must repeal and replace Obamacare", then went on to point out that yet another insurer has opted out of the ACA marketplace.

During his remarks, which lasted about half an hour, Trump framed his plan as a way to make good on his pledge to put "America first", saying expensive USA entanglements overseas have distracted the country from its goals of spurring job growth.

That order broke down very quickly after the president left to return to Lunken and a flight back to Washington. Later in the day, Comey's opening statement for his Thursday appearance before the committee was released, dominating news coverage. It includes detailed descriptions of meetings and phone conversations between Trump and Comey.

In the speech, the president also pressed the Senate to send him a health care bill, criticized congressional Democrats as "obstructionists" and revisited his decision to pull the US out of the Paris climate agreement.

Trump declared the days of spending on other nations are over: "It's time to rebuild our country" and to "put America first", he said.

And while a section of the speech did outline the infrastructure package he wants to sign into law and the improvements it would usher in from coast to coast, Trump did not exactly court the Democratic support he will need to pass it. However, many Democrats are opposed to Trump's plans for financing the overhaul, arguing they would result in taxpayer-funded corporate profits with the costs absorbed by consumers.

Trump said the families represented others "going through turmoil" because of health care and blamed the Affordable Care Act for increasing premiums and insurers exiting the marketplace, including Anthem's announcement they would withdraw from the OH exchange at the end of the year. "One of the biggest broken promises ever". Senate Republicans are working on their own version.

He hit on virtually everything else, however, including a brief defense of his decision for the U.S.to abandon the Paris climate deal.

President Donald Trump has told the crown prince of Abu Dhabi that maintaining "a united Gulf Cooperation Council" is important for promoting regional stability. It has proposed paying for the improvements with $200 billion in tax breaks over nine years.

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White House aides had hoped that what they called "infrastructure week" would provide new momentum for Trump's legislative agenda and focus the president's attention on a positive message during a week in which senior USA intelligence officials and former FBI director James B. Comey are testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee over the federal probe into the Trump campaign's contacts with Russian officials. Trump has denied the allegations and called the Russian Federation story "fake news".

A White House official says President Donald Trump plans to give a speech next week to address worker training programs. "Tolls should be removed from any discussion of responsibly fixing our country's ailing roads and bridges", the group said.

"I have not heard a single colleague say that he or she was remotely tempted by this scam plan that Trump is putting out there", Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) said on the call.

In a tweet early Wednesday, Trump also announced Christopher Wray as his pick to succeed Comey as Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

In Cincinnati, Trump met and spoke with two people he called "Obamacare victims". Today, Presidential leadership was demonstrated once again by emphasizing the importance of the inland waterways transportation system and this critical national infrastructure with the backdrop of the river itself.

Senior aides touted an air traffic control overhaul plan and prepared infrastructure-themed remarks that Trump delivered rather speedily Thursday in OH; then their boss repeatedly swerved off message.

Early on, the idea of a massive federal investment into the nation's aging bridge, highway, rail, and other public infrastructure was cited as an area where Democrats and the new Republican president might find common ground.

Speaking in Cincinnati on Wednesday, President Trump continued his attack on the Affordable Care Act, declaring that "Obamacare is in a total death spiral".

The president will deliver remarks at the Rivertowne Marina in Cincinnati.

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