Emboldened by the special counsel’s report—or lack thereof—President Donald Trump is looking to unleash a slew of policies ahead of 2020. On the president’s agenda, alongside immigration and health care, is the much-hyped Republican infrastructure plan.
While the White House has attempted to highlight infrastructure initiatives in the past, the announcements have been continually overshadowed by ongoing scandals (terrorism at Charlottesville’s Unite the Right rally, abuse allegations against former White House aide Rob Porter), turning “Infrastructure Week” into a punchline. With the conclusion of the Russia investigation, however, Trump may finally have his opening.
Earlier this week, deputy press secretary Judd Deere announced that Trump will travel to Florida to promote infrastructure projects near Lake Okeechobee—with emphasis paid to completing the Herbert Hoover Dike rehabilitation.
“The Herbert Hoover Dike project exemplifies the Trump administration’s efforts to promote federal and state collaboration on infrastructure projects that benefit its surrounding communities, which is why it was prioritized in the president’s 2019 budget request,” said the White House in a statement about the trip.
Despite congressional gridlock, some Republicans and Democrats have expressed openness to working together on a wide-sweeping infrastructure bill. This week, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) told POLITICO he met with Trump and “passionately” wants to pass reform on the topic, while Donald Trump Jr. urged Democrats on Tucker Carlson Tonight to support legislation. In a Medium post on Thursday, senator and presidential hopeful Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) announced a “bold, trillion-dollar plan” that calls for repairing highways and developing high-speed rail options.
The annual Infrastructure Week, hosted by various private companies and associations, is scheduled for May 13-20.