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No Political Football!

I have a message for President Trump and Congress: Do not turn infrastructure funding into a political football!

On Monday, May 20, expectations were sky high with the realization that President Trump, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer were planning a second meeting, ostensibly to discuss funding a previously agreed-upon $2 trillion infrastructure bill.

On Tuesday, May 21, National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association President and CEO Michael W. Johnson sent a letter to President Trump and Congressional leaders urging them to fix America’s infrastructure. “Tomorrow is an opportunity for leadership of historic proportions to fix America’s crumbling infrastructure … I am greatly encouraged by the agreement reached in your April 30 meeting to address an infrastructure package of $2 trillion. The time is now to identify the funding for such a package and get America’s infrastructure back on track.”

But before that letter was even likely read, Trump wrote his own letter to Pelosi and Schumer, saying, “Before we get to infrastructure, it is my strong view that Congress should first pass the important and popular USMCA trade deal.” That threw water on the entire proceedings.

It got even worse Wednesday, May 22, when Trump told Democratic leaders at the White House he couldn’t work with them while they were pursuing investigations into him and his administration. The much anticipated meeting, and hoped for agreement on funding our nation’s crumbling roads and bridges, lasted all of a few minutes, and resulted in nothing.

As President Andrew Shepherd said in the movie The American President, “We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious people to solve them.”

That appears to be impossible when no one seems to be taking the decrepit state of our infrastructure seriously.

I said it before and I will say it again: What is it going to take? Another major bridge collapse? A giant sinkhole to swallow a highway during rush hour? How many deaths will be enough?

I said it before and I will say it again. Do not turn infrastructure funding into a political football!