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Home / US / The departure of Trump consultants raises questions about the fate of the infrastructure plan

The departure of Trump consultants raises questions about the fate of the infrastructure plan



The impending departure of President Trump's top advisor for White House infrastructure, DJ Gribbin, is seen by critics as further evidence that the government's much-vaunted initiative has stalled.

But the White House officials have quietly exchanged views on Capitol Hill, and the government insists that they advance their infrastructure package.

At a rally in Ohio last week, Trump has declared the lack of Democratic support for what he promised to be a bipartisan effort. they probably have to wait for the election in November.

Many Congressional Republicans were also unenthusiastic of the $ 200 billion 10-year proposal, which the Trump Administration is spending $ 1

.5 trillion on total spending Outsourced by economists, last year's business-oriented GOP tax cuts left little room for what Trump would consider America's reconstruction project to be.

White House officials, led by Gribbin's deputy Alex Herrgott, have been involved in recent months The Republicans are negotiating a handful of Democrats on the hill, so a participant in the talks, who spoke on condition of anonymity, to speak openly.

They are working on drafting authorization laws that will ask for payment of the package until later "The idea behind it is to develop the policy first," said the Teilne hmer, "and the GOP leadership aims to mark the bill in May," the participant said.

Democrats have publicly demanded to reverse some corporate tax cuts to pay for $ 1 trillion in government spending was quickly denied by government officials.

The Highway Trust Fund, a major source of road and transit spending, also faces a threat of underfunding of more than $ 120 billion, with no agreement on how to manage it. Many Republicans and Democrats also disagree on a push to withdraw environmental regulations that the government says slow projects.

Gribbin was an important architect and vocal defender of Trump's plan, which calls for US $ 100 billion in federal incentives. local and private spending, plus another ten billion for rural development and other "transformative" projects.

A date for Gribbin's departure was not mentioned, but a replacement will be named, a White House official said. God, the White Council of the Environmental Quality Infrastructure Council is a top candidate, but a final decision has not been taken.

Critics say that Gribbin's midstream exit leads to further problems.

"It's another in a series of signs that show how frivolous the administration is to do infrastructure in a real way," said a high-ranking Senate Democratic aide, who also spoke on condition of anonymity to speak freely.

A White House official denied that the change of staff signaled that the initiative was going nowhere.

"That's just not true," said the official, who would describe the government's position only on the condition of anonymity. Trump stands behind the plan, which was coined by its commissioners throughout the federal government, the official said.

"It's the president who is his main proponent," the official said. "As long as he's around, the infrastructure will continue to be a priority, and he will continue to call on Congress to push ahead with his plan."

The White House official also said, "DJ's departure was his decision." A congressional assistant who was not allowed to speak on the record said of Gribbin, "The job he has been doing for the past 15 months has been pretty ungrateful and I'm not at all surprised by his own mental health "That he is leaving.

Last month, Gribbin, a former manager of Macquarie Capital, who worked for Koch Industries and the Transportation Department, defended the administration efforts in a speech to the American Association of State Highway and Transport Officials.

The most amazing thing about this job is that you are spreading these ideas, and it's unbelievable how far you can get from these concrete suggestions to their interpretations, Gribbin said. There is a Wharton study … Have you read what we have spent I have no idea how you got where you got there. "

Economists of the Penn Wharton budget model said the Trump plan, under its most generous interpretation, would make states and others spend just $ 30 billion more on infrastructure, beyond the $ 200 billion from Washington. This is in contrast to the more than $ 1 trillion predicted by Gribbin and other government officials.

Wharton economists said states and localities spend less of their own money on projects, a well-known phenomenon known as substitution. The government refers to its planned incentive grants, which require $ 4 in state or local spending for every $ 1 in federal money as well as other programs.

But Wharton economists, citing decades of academic research, said numerous governments have been calling for local spending to continue at the same pace despite federal infusions – and have failed.

Beyond Trump's $ 200 billion proposal, last month's double-digit billions bill bill includes trillions more for roads, bridges, and airports as well as transit and water projects. [19659002] Some Democrats in Congress described the increase as a rejection of Trump's approach.

Trump's budget proposals, for example, called for the abolition of a transportation program for the Obama-era Transportation Department, known as the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER, which has funded projects from a highway in Lincoln, Neb., To a major road improvement project in Akron Ohio rich.

Instead, Congress tripled the TIGER program to $ 1.5 billion from $ 500 million.

Trump administration officials offered an optimistic interpretation

"It's not the exact way we would have done it, but it met many of the goals we had," said Deputy Secretary of Transportation Jeffrey A. Rosen

Rosen said that there are gains for the administration, including blocking what he said is an attempt to reverse major tunnel and bridge projects between New Jersey and New York known as the Gateway program ,

"Any language that favored it was off, and we were glad to see it," Rosen said.

This project is a priority of minority leader in Senate Charles E. Schumer (DN.Y.), with whom Trump collaborates despite their common history as a New Yorker Savings.




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