President Donald Trump touted his Infrastructure Initiative in a speech on Thursday to a crowd of construction workers in Richfield, Ohio, telling them, “We’re going to rebuild America’s crumbling infrastructure.”
Trump told the crowd, “We will breathe new life into your very run-down highways, railways, and waterways. We’ll transform our roads and bridges from a source of endless frustration into a source of absolutely incredible pride.”
The president assured the audience that his administration was “going to do it all under budget and ahead of schedule.”
“You ever hear those words in the public world? ‘Under budget and ahead of schedule,'” he said.
Trump mentioned his career in construction as part of the reason he would be able to successfully lead the Infrastructure Initiative.
“I’ve been in construction and building all my life. I love it,” he said. “I love the smell of a construction site. Right? There’s just something about it. And you know, we didn’t always get, although, in this case, we did nicely, but we didn’t always get the union leadership of the big unions, but we got the workers. We got the workers.”
Trump also touted his work with union “teamsters” in the past, saying that the workers “get it” and that their leadership will as well, promising that they have an ally in the White House.
“Because you’re going to have a great friend, and now I have proven, you know, before I used to say, ‘You’re going to have friend,'” the president said. “But now I have proven you’ve got a friend in the White House. That’s why we’re building all these projects.”
Later in the speech, Trump talked about the specifics of his plan.
“Under our plan, every project will have one point of contact that will deliver one decision, yes or no, for the entire federal government. Yes or no. You have to go through different agencies. You go through Labor. You go through Transportation. You go through another one, another one. EPA, where we’ve really streamlined the system; where we have really made it possible for people to get things done. So many projects are under construction right now that would never, ever in a million years have gotten built.”
Republican reaction to the president’s plan has been positive. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) said in a statement, “Republicans in Congress are eager to answer President Trump’s call to address America’s aging infrastructure and the outdated rules and regulations that drive up costs. Democrats must now keep their commitment to achieve these goals. It’s time to work together in a bipartisan way for the American people.”