In a blow to President Trump’s infrastructure proposals, DJ Gribbin, the point person for the initiative, is leaving his position at the White House to “move on to new opportunities,” according to a White House official.
Gribbin’s departure comes just days after President Trump conceded in a speech in Richfield, Ohio, that his infrastructure proposal – often described as a top administration priority – is likely to remain stalled through at least the end of the year.
“I am grateful for his service and fully believe that the plan President Trump delivered to Congress, combined with the work we are doing administratively, will have a transformational impact on our economy,” said Gary Cohn, national economic adviser.
Trump released his long-discussed infrastructure plan in February. It proposes to spend $200 billion in federal money to generate $1.5 trillion from private investors, and state and local governments. But the plan has gone nowhere in Congress.
Five of Trump’s Cabinet members appeared at a Senate hearing last month to discuss the plan but failed to sway lawmakers, who wondered how the administration would come up with the $200 billion in federal money.
Gribbin, who worked for two infrastructure firms with expertise in privatization repeatedly met with officials from trade groups, state and local governments, and other entities to discuss the proposal. He’s a vocal advocate for public-private partnerships or P3s.
Meanwhile, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has said infrastructure funding will come about in multiple pieces of legislation, pointing to two must-pass bills and a waterways bill Congress regularly re-ups every two years.