By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Wednesday, January 27, 2017, sources within Trump Administration released a list of high priority transportation, energy, and infrastructure project which the new President is expected to ask Congress to fund in order to stimulate the economy and rapidly address national infrastructure shortcomings. No Alabama project was on the list, which is expected to cost $1 trillion. US Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) said in a statement on social media that this was an oversight.
Congressman Byrne wrote, “You may have seen some news reports about the I-10 Bridge project not being included on a reported “transportation projects list” of the Trump Administration. As soon as we heard about the situation, my office reached out to the new staff at the Federal Department of Transportation to emphasize the need for the I-10 Bridge. We have been reassured they are aware of the project and that the project list is not final or comprehensive. I believe our efforts have succeeded in assuring the I-10 bridge will be on the final list. I appreciate the quick response of the Trump Administration when we brought this problem to their attention.”
On Monday, January 24, 2017 Pres. Trump issued an executive order expediting costly environmental reviews and approvals which were delaying high priority infrastructure projects.
President Donald J. Trump (R) wrote: “By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby direct as follows:
Section 1. Purpose. Infrastructure investment strengthens our economic platform, makes America more competitive, creates millions of jobs, increases wages for American workers, and reduces the costs of goods and services for American families and consumers. Too often, infrastructure projects in the United States have been routinely and excessively delayed by agency processes and procedures. These delays have increased project costs and blocked the American people from the full benefits of increased infrastructure investments, which are important to allowing Americans to compete and win on the world economic stage. Federal infrastructure decisions should be accomplished with maximum efficiency and effectiveness, while also respecting property rights and protecting public safety and the environment. To that end, it is the policy of the executive branch to streamline and expedite, in a manner consistent with law, environmental reviews and approvals for all infrastructure projects, especially projects that are a high priority for the Nation, such as improving the U.S. electric grid and telecommunications systems and repairing and upgrading critical port facilities, airports, pipelines, bridges, and highways.”
Section 2 dealt with the identification of his priority projects and involved Governors in the identification of those high priority projects.
Some conservatives in the Congress have cautioned against a $trillion infrastructure stimulus as there is no revenue to pay for any of this so it would likely all have to be paid for with deficit spending.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) opposed Trump in the Republican primaries, instead endorsing Ohio Governor John Kasich (R). In the general election, Gov. Bentley withdrew his support for the GOP ticket; due to the release of an eleven year old tape on which Trump used the p-word and suggested that his celebrity status meant he could just reach out and grab women and nothing would happen to him. Gov. Bentley, Congresswoman Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) and a handful of other GOP leaders denounced the crude language and revoked their endorsement of Donald J Trump. The American people dismissed the tape as drunken boasting of a much younger man and elected Donald Trump President of the United States anyway.
Gov. Bentley told the New York Times Richard Perez-Pena that his administration is recommending the I-10 bridge over the Mobile River, as well as water and sewer projects. Gov. Bentley said he hoped that calls for greater infrastructure spending would prevail over the opposition. Bentley said, “We will have everything ready. All we need is just the funding.”
Bentley added, “I’m not sure $1 trillion is enough.”
To see the list itself: