If President Donald Trump is truly serious about rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure, he will support current projects in New Jersey and New York instead of throwing a temper tantrum.
Several months ago, Trump met with lawmakers from both states and expressed his enthusiasm for the projects, which includes building a new bridge to replace the obsolete Portal Bridge that connects New Jersey and New York and the Gateway Tunnel, which is part of a rail line renovation project that would allow crews to shut down existing tubes to repair damage caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
Both projects are considered vital to the economy and national security by lawmakers from both parties.
But Trump not only now opposes the funding, which amounts to $900 million, he is threatening to shut the government down if he doesn’t get his way.
Democrats believe Trump is rejecting the funding because of petty partisan reasons. After all, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) supports the projects, as does New Jersey’s new Democratic Governor Phil Murphy, who replaced Trump ally and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
Schumer told POLITICO that:
“This is vitally important to the northeast corridor and to the entire U.S. economy. Jobs, income, and growth are all at stake. No one should be playing politics with it.”
Murphy said according to NJ.com when asked about Trump’s threat. ”
“I’m still an optimist. I still believe when something is so compelling with such broad-based support, it gets done. I assume there must be some other drama behind the curtain.”
Indeed, one would think Trump would support the projects, especially if he really wants to improve and repair America’s aging infrastructure.
Upon unveiling his own infrastructure plan earlier this month, Trump blamed lawmakers for not doing enough.
“For too long, lawmakers have invested in infrastructure inefficiently, ignored critical needs, and allowed it to deteriorate. As a result, the United States has fallen further and further behind other countries. It is time to give Americans the working, modern infrastructure they deserve.”
Of course, his own plan only offers $200 billion from the federal government while expecting state and local governments along with private corporations to come up with the other $1.2 trillion of the funding necessary to meaningfully rebuild American infrastructure.
In addition, it should be noted that Trump’s plan is environmentally unfriendly, which will only add further costs down the road with negative consequences.
Trump’s threat over funding also comes as he seeks $18 billion for his border wall in addition to another $30 billion for border security.
Again, the amount of federal funding for the two projects in New Jersey and New York amounts to $900 million, far less than Trump’s useless wall.
The infrastructure projects will improve the economy in the Northeast and provide structural safety that millions of people in both states need on a daily basis as they commute to and from work.
Trump’s budget tantrums have already caused a government shutdown under his watch, and under a unified Republican-controlled government to boot. To cause a second big shutdown just a couple months later would be embarrassing and demonstrate that Trump can’t govern. He just wants his way or no way at all. And that’s just plain childish.
Featured Image By Jim Henderson Wikimedia Commons/CC-By-1.0.