During his State of the Union address, President Trump called for infrastructure legislation, almost one year after he proposed a $1.5 trillion plan to revitalize U.S. roads and bridges that never came to fruition.
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“I know that the Congress is eager to pass an infrastructure bill -- and I am eager to work with you on legislation to deliver new and important infrastructure investment, including investments in the cutting-edge industries of the future,” Trump said Tuesday during the address, the second of his presidency.
He offered little detail on what might be included in the project, but stressed the need for unity in a “great rebuilding of America’s crumbling infrastructure.”
Lawmakers from both side of the aisle have indicated a willingness to work together on Infrastructure, although Trump’s previous bill -- which reportedly would have required cities and states to fund the majority of regular transit and road projects, according to Politico -- was met with roadblocks from both parties.
But during the Tuesday address, Trump’s infrastructure pitch was one of the few met with applause from both Democrats and Republicans. Sens. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., (and 2020 hopeful) and Ed Markey, D-Mass., each acknowledged the need for an infrastructure investment.
Harris, however, suggested the president scrap the $5 billion he wants for a U.S.-Mexico border wall and invest it in the country’s infrastructure, while Markey made the case for confronting climate change in any infrastructure bill.
Outside organizations also praised Trump for highlighting the importance of an infrastructure bill. AAA CEO Marshall Doney said in a statement he was “pleased” to hear the White House plans to make infrastructure a priority in the year ahead.
“All funding options should be on the table,” he stressed.
Trump used last year’s State of the Union to pitch another infrastructure plan, in which he called for an overhaul of the nation’s road, bridges, airports and broadband distribution. Money for the project was expected to come from a combination of public and private assistance, with the federal government chipping in about $200 billion.
Shortly after proposing the legislation, however, the White House admitted that passing it by the end of the year was unlikely -- a result of the 2018 midterm elections in November.
"You'll probably have to wait until after the election, which isn't so long down the road," Trump said during a speech in March. "But we're going to get this infrastructure going."