President Trump Urges Unity “For A Great Rebuilding Of America’s Crumbling Infrastructure”
“Both parties should be able to unite for a great rebuilding of America’s crumbling infrastructure… This is not an option. This is a necessity.” – U.S. President Donald J. Trump, remarks during the State Of The Union address
Washington, D.C. – President Donald J. Trump delivered a largely unifying and wide-ranging State Of The Union (SOTU) speech on Tuesday night to a joint session of Congress.
President Trump was mostly unifying in a speech which focused on “choosing greatness” over “gridlock” for the future of America. “Together we can break decades of political stalemate. We can bridge old divisions, heal old wounds, build new coalitions, forge new solutions, and unlock the extraordinary promise of America’s future. The decision is ours to make,” Mr. Trump said to federal lawmakers and distinguished guests in attendance.
Calling on Republicans and Democrats to unite on key issues facing the nation, President Trump urged Congress to advance meaningful legislation to address America’s dilapidated infrastructure. “Both parties should be able to unite for a great rebuilding of America’s crumbling infrastructure,” President Trump said.
The President stressed a grand bargain on an infrastructure plan is essential. “I know that the Congress is eager to pass an infrastructure bill — and I am eager to work with you on legislation to deliver new and important infrastructure investment, including investments in the cutting edge industries of the future. This is not an option. This is a necessity,” Mr. Trump exclaimed.
Insta-polls conducted by a host of national news outlets revealed most Americans who watched the speech had a very or somewhat favorable reaction. According to a CBS News poll 76% of viewers approved of what they heard in President Trump’s speech.
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) February 6, 2019
More reaction praising the President’s remarks came quickly from U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao. In a released statement shortly following the SOTU, Chao joined with President Trump in calling for bipartisan action to “repair and restore America’s aging infrastructure.”
Chao said the President’s economic polices have led to “historic levels of economic and job growth” and “widespread private sector investment.” Chao credited the “transportation sector” for enabling the robust economic expansion, but warned “aging and insufficient infrastructure threatens to impede future growth.”
Chao reiterated that the Trump Administration “is committed to improvements that address all facets of infrastructure, from the needs of rural America to the opportunities of innovative technology.” The Secretary said she is looking forward “to working across the aisle towards cooperative solutions this year.”
Trucking Stakeholders Pledge Support
Joining President Trump and Secretary Chao’s calls for action was American Trucking Associations (ATA) president Chris Spear. “Tonight President Trump called for a national, bipartisan effort to restore our country’s declining infrastructure — and America’s truckers are answering that call,” Spear said in a released statement.
Spear stressed in order to break the gridlock in Congress on this issue it was going to require “real investment.” Spear pledged ATA’s financial support, along with “a broad coalition of the business community,” in order to make “this national priority a reality.”
Further, Spear stated, “Restoring our national infrastructure to greatness will further ignite our economy, make us more competitive abroad, and give Americans more time to spend with family and less time stuck in traffic.”
ATA’s Spear Also Calls On Congress To Approve New United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement
Additionally, Spear turned his attention to trade and urged Congress to quickly approve the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which President Trump took a hands-on approach in negotiating with the two countries. This is notable since Spear and ATA initially expressed a hesitance to support re-opening trade negotiations with Canada and Mexico.
Renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was a central campaign promise President Trump made in 2016. “Trucks move $720 billion worth of goods annually across our borders with Canada and Mexico, and cross-border trucking activity supports more than 47,000 jobs in the United States,” Spear said.
He continued, “Any significant disruption to those trading relationships would have serious consequences for trucking and the economy, so we join President Trump in his call for Congress to quickly ratify the USMCA trade agreement.”