Connecticut's senators sounded off on Monday about the president's infrastructure plan.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal urged continued momentum as President Donald Trump released his $20 billion infrastructure breakthrough on Monday.
However, he posted to Twitter that Trump's plan means sweeping corporate giveaways, fire sales of public assets and new tolls across the country "enriching private interests at everyday Americans' expense."
"More for hedge funds than hard hats, Pres. Trump's infrastructure plan relies on magical thinking, massive private interest profits, and a pittance of public investment," Blumenthal wrote.
At a news conference on Monday, Blumenthal and construction workers lauded new investment.
Sen. Chris Murphy released a statement on Monday afternoon, in which he pointed out that Trump's plan relies heavily on state and local funding, not a federal investment.
"The president [Monday] turned his back on the promises he made," Murphy said. "This proposal provides pennies to infrastructure projects while cash-strapped communities are forced to spend money they don’t have or else sell off highways and railroads to Wall Street. If the president truly wants a $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan, I’m all for it. Let’s repeal his giant tax giveaway to the rich and use that money to start rebuilding America.”
The infrastructure plan is part of a bipartisan budget agreement that was reached on Friday.
Blumenthal said it is a significant down payment toward the $1 trillion-plus needed to bring the nation's "crumbling infrastructure" into the 21st century. About $200 billion of that money would come from new federal funds over a 10-year period.
He said he has a desire to work across party lines to find solutions to grow jobs, invest in local priorities and reinvigorate the economy.
"This plan is a lot of magical thinking. Not real money and Connecticut will see through it," Blumenthal said.
“As these bridges and other structures decay they get worse and worse at a more rapid rate,” said David Chapman.
He knows a thing or two about repairing roads and bridges, as he is the owner of a Branford-based contracting company that does work for the Department of Transportation.
“If you ever get stuck on I-95, you stop, you look and you’ll see tractor trailers that are sitting there trying to deliver goods. You’ll see plumbers and trades men who are stuck in traffic all that costs them money and it costs consumers money and it really hurts our economy and it’s not getting any better.”
In a statement on Monday, Gov. Dannel Malloy said “On the campaign trail and since taking office, President Trump promised major and much-needed investments in our nation’s infrastructure. The proposal released today fails to live up to the president’s promises – allocating less than 14 percent of the $1.5 trillion dollar investment he promised and relying on phantom private funding. Indeed, thanks to major cuts in the president’s proposed budget to programs supporting infrastructure investments – particularly transportation programs – it could actually make our problems worse. While the nations with whom we compete invest in high-speed rail, modernized airports, highways, and transit systems, we are allowing our transportation system to fall further into a state of disrepair. I find it appalling that this president would borrow $1.5 trillion for a tax cut that primarily benefits the wealthiest 1 percent while putting forward an infrastructure plan that fails to meet even this country’s most basic transportation and other infrastructure needs. It is clear that it will be up to the states to invest in their transportation infrastructure, and Connecticut is in desperate need of investment. For years, we have underfunded our Special Transportation Fund, and as a result, the condition of our roads, bridges, tunnels, and rails lag behind our neighboring states. That’s why I have put forward a commonsense revenue proposal. With a lack of serious solutions coming from the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress, it is more important than ever that the legislature act this session to not just stabilize, but to ensure the future sustainability of the Special Transportation Fund and rebuild Connecticut.”
Congressman John Larson weighed in on the issue and said "I am encouraged that the President is talking about infrastructure. A robust investment in our infrastructure is sorely need, and I am hopeful that funding for the I-84/I-91 tunnel proposal could come out of a bipartisan infrastructure package. I will continue to work on a bipartisan basis with Chairman Bill Shuster and President Trump on funding for projects like the I-84/I-91 tunnel proposal."
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