Less than a month after signing an executive order creating an Advisory Council on Infrastructure, President Trump has canceled it.
During his campaign, Trump put America’s infrastructure high on the list. Gallup polls revealed it to be the “most important Trump promise.” The administration declared $1 trillion would be put into improving the roads, bridges, water and other infrastructure in such sad need of repair it received a D+ by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The Council, headed by New York developers, Richard LeFrak and Steven Roth, would have advised on projects for numerous public works across the country.
This decision comes one day after dismantling two other councils — American Manufacturing Council and the Strategic and Policy Forum — where several chief executives quit in protest over the President’s response to a white nationalist attack in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Committee on the Arts and Humanities has also resigned.
During divisive times across the nation, infrastructure is one topic where all political parties concur with each other about its importance. In fact, while openly opposed to many of the policies of the new administration, California Sen. Kamala Harris told The Sacramento Bee, that infrastructure was one area where she might be able to agree with this president. “California has $59 billion in unmet transportation needs,” she said, “If you are ever on the 405 in LA and if you lived in Los Angeles people would tell you it is a human rights issue. We have an incredible need for upgrading our transportation infrastructure in California. I joke, human rights, but the reality is that in a lot of places in our country people cannot afford to live where they work . . . they commute long hours, and that’s hours they are not spending with their family, hours they are not spending at work, so we should make transportation easier.”
As Fox News noted, “Fixing the country’s aging infrastructure was supposed to be the big takeaway from Tuesday’s now-infamous Trump Tower remarks.” Uncertainty now surrounds the impact this will have on infrastructure projects, but more information may be coming in a few months. Bloomberg reports, “The administration has said it intends to have details on its infrastructure plan this fall but has signaled the approach will be to allocate $200 billion in federal dollars on rural and ‘transformational’ projects over 10 years and on incentives for states, localities, and the private sector to spend $800 billion.”