February 13, 2018 3:45 a.m.
Congressman Peter DeFazio is calling the infrastructure proposal released on Monday by President Donald Trump, a scam.
A strongly worded statement from the 4th District Congressman, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, says the plan is “embarrassingly small”. DeFazio’s statement says that for more than a year the nation has been hearing from President Trump about a “big beautiful infrastructure proposal”.
DeFazio says the plan slashes real Federal investments and shifts the burden to cash-strapped states and local governments. He says it would cut more than $168 billion from existing transportation and infrastructure programs to pay for Wall Street and foreign investors to toll the nation’s roads and it would gut environmental, clean water, and clean air protections “under the guise of speeding up projects”.
DeFazio says the Democratic plan is called the Better Deal to Rebuild America. He says it is an infrastructure plan five times bigger than President Trump’s proposal. He claims that proposal provides $1 trillion in federal funding to rebuild crumbling roads, bridges, transit systems, ports, harbors, airports and schools. He says it would also extend high-speed internet to every family in America and put $16 million people to work.
DeFazio says the Trump plan must be considered in the larger context of the President’s Fiscal Year 2019 Budget, which he says proposes to cut more than $168 billion from federal highway, transit, Amtrak, and water infrastructure building over the next ten years and would privatize the air traffic control system. He says the plan would increase the deficit by $50 billion dollars. DeFazio says White House staff has suggested that cuts to Amtrak and public transit investment are intended to provide some of the budgetary offsets for the Trump infrastructure plan.
He claims that means the Trump plan, coupled with the President’s budget, amounts to little if any new Federal transportation and water infrastructure investment.