Vermont Business Magazine Vermont's congressional delegation, as well as most of their Democratic colleagues, were disappointed with President Trump's infrastructure plan presented to Congress today. The president's plan leans heavily on privatizing infrastructure, as well as leveraging local and state funds, in order to repair and upgrade large projects. Among those projects earmarked for selling off are the two airports serving Washington, DC: Dulles and Reagan National.
Statement of Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont):
"A budget is where we lay out our priorities as a nation. The priorities identified in this budget are not the priorities of the American people. By making drastic cuts to our domestic priorities, President Trump is abandoning the bipartisan budget deal reached by Congress and signed -- by the President -- last week. This is not a serious proposal; it is divorced from reality. And it would continue the Trump administration’s full-on retreat from American global influence and leadership.
"Further, the Trump infrastructure proposal falls far short of what is needed to address our nation’s crumbling bridges and outdated railroads and highways. It seeks to fund its proposal on the backs of working Americans by raising new tolls. Toll roads would not work in Newport, Vermont, or in rural areas across the country that are seeking desperately needed repairs. While claiming to address our nation’s infrastructure, Trump’s budget actually cuts transportation, housing, and urban development programs by 29 percent. His untenable infrastructure proposal will bankrupt states, in favor of lining the pockets of wealthy developers.
"I will work with Chairman Cochran to craft responsible appropriations bills in the coming months that meet the new budget caps set in the bipartisan budget deal, and that truly move our country forward."
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) issued the following statement Monday after President Donald Trump released his infrastructure plan:
"President Trump is right to talk about the need to rebuild our country’s infrastructure, but the proposal he introduced today is dead wrong. Instead of spending $1.5 trillion to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, Trump would encourage states to sell our nation’s highways, bridges, and other vital infrastructure to Wall Street, wealthy campaign contributors, even foreign governments. The reality is that Trump’s plan to privatize our nation’s infrastructure is an old idea that has never worked and never will work. It would result in unacceptable new tolls and fees paid for by American commuters and homeowners.
"Instead of creating more giveaways to corporate America and Wall Street, we should be eliminating tax loopholes that allow profitable corporations to stash their cash in offshore tax havens around the world. And we should be using this revenue to directly invest more than $1 trillion to modernize our nation’s infrastructure and create 15 million good-paying jobs."
Representative Peter Welch (D-Vermont), co-chair of the House Rural Broadband Caucus, issued the following statement:
“I am deeply disappointed that the president failed to include dedicated broadband funding in his infrastructure proposal. This glaring omission is a betrayal of the rural voters that supported him in his election, and a missed opportunity to close the digital divide that separates rural and urban America. A robust rural broadband network is essential to attract businesses, provide access to healthcare through telemedicine, help farmers become more efficient, and close the homework gap that hamstrings rural students.”
Source: WASHINGTON, Feb. 12 – Vermont Congressional Delegation.