Trump to push for overhauling roads, bridges, air traffic

Gladys Abbott
June 4, 2017

Trump's visit will be part of a week-long White House effort to emphasize Trump's plan to use $200 billion in tax breaks to help generate $1 trillion in public and private investment to pay for improving the nation's infrastructure.

That drama will come to a head next week when former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, who was leading the Russian Federation probe until Trump fired him, testifies before a US Senate panel on Thursday.

Coming up with a palatable offset is likely to be the biggest hurdle facing Trump's ambitious plan to upgrade USA roads, bridges, airports and other public works.

After facing criticism for a budget proposal that hung his rural voters out to dry with huge cuts to crop insurance, Medicaid, rural loan programs and air services, Trump will release details of the infrastructure plan in a speech on Wednesday that White House officials say will stress his commitment to rural communities.

Trump outlined a broad sketch of his infrastructure plan in his budget proposal last week, with a more detailed legislative package expected to land later this summer. He kicked off his policy push with healthcare and tax reform, initiatives that have become bogged down in process and controversy. His campaign for public and private funding for the projects is expected to run from the White House, where he'll speak about upgrading air traffic control, to OH on inland waterways and through meetings with mayors, governors and Transportation Department officials.

Trump will make remarks in the Rose Garden and explain how the plan will save travelers time and save fuel costs for airlines, Cohn said. He's then set to travel to OH and Kentucky on Wednesday to talk about the need for improving bridges and levees crucial to waterways.

He will huddle with a bipartisan group of governors and mayors at the White House on Thursday to discuss their needs and plans, Cohn said.

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President Donald Trump sits in the cab of a truck as he welcomes members of American Trucking Associations to the White House March 23, 2017 in Washington, DC.

Trump's focus on infrastructure follows the government's monthly jobs report, which showed hiring slowing down in May.

Democrats have also been critical of Trump's interest in forging public-private partnerships instead of more traditional spending on infrastructure projects.

On the air traffic control overhaul, Trump plans to share the "principles" he supports, but will leave the drafting of legislation to lawmakers, officials told reporters.

Trump's desire to privatize air traffic control stems from legislation written by Bill Shuster, R-Pa., chairman of the House Transportation Committee, in 2016.

"We know that in many of these areas we're falling behind, and the falling behind is affecting economic growth in the United States", Cohn said.

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