How Trump blew it on infrastructure

After much back and forth, the US Senate has finally passed an infrastructure bill. The bill has a total cost of one trillion dollars and was arrived at after weeks of haggling in which Republicans fought to reduce it from the more ambitious plan that Joe Biden and progressive Democrats had initially wanted. In the end 19 Republicans voted for it, joining all 50 Democrats, and Biden hailed the compromise as a sign that the much sought-after unicorn of bipartisanship was not dead.

It was a key affirmation of Joe Biden’s strategy to push bipartisanship in his legislative agenda, and the White House on Tuesday afternoon trumpeted that it would create “millions of jobs”, as well as support greener policies such as expanding networks of charging stations for electric cars, and boosting train travel and electric buses.

The $1tn bill – which still has to navigate another passage through the House of Representatives before reaching the president’s desk – would invest new federal funds in upgrading roads and bridges but also boost greener policies.

The bill focuses on updating the nation’s power grid to make it more resilient against extreme weather in the era of the climate crisis, invest in protecting public utility systems from cyber-attacks and helping to make the nation’s coastlines more protected from rising seas.

The bill also aims to help replace lead drinking pipes, modernize and expand transit, upgrade passenger and freight rail, and improve broadband internet. About $65bn is to be provided for broadband, a provision the Republican senator Susan Collins negotiated because she said the pandemic showed that such a service “is no longer a luxury. It is a necessity.”

Donald Trump is furious that Republicans supported the bill and had previously threatened to withhold support from any Republican lawmaker who voted for it. But that did not seem to be enough of a deterrent for the 19. I think Trump now realizes that he blew it. Such a bipartisan infrastructure bill could have been his for the taking. There has always been bipartisan support for infrastructure because not only is it needed, it also provides a lot of jobs in every state for people of all political persuasions. While in office, Trump kept trumpeting ‘infrastructure weeks’ where he talked about the need for it but he never actually produced any legislation. This is because he simply did not care about the nuts and bolts of governing a country. He only cared about enriching himself, his family, and cronies, and using his office to inflame cultural wars that would please his rabid supporters, such as the border wall, kneeling football players, the flag, and the like. The only legislative achievement he had was giving a big tax break for the rich.

So now he has to stand on the sidelines while Biden takes a victory lap that was aided by members of his own party. He will portray that as a betrayal of him and the Republican party but the simple fact is that it is he who could have taken this victory lap and he knows it, which is why he must be angry.


  1. billseymour says

    The very end of the post is what got me:

    … the simple fact is that it is [Trump] who could have taken this victory lap and he knows it, …

    I’m not so sure that he knows anything of the sort.  That gives him too much credit.

  2. says

    It’s not over -- the deficit hawks Are circling, about to pounce. You know -- the folks who voted the pentagon a raise but can’t abide poor folks getting “free stuff.”

  3. bmiller says

    A trillion dollars? Isn’t that what we spent on the ludicrous decade long Afghani Adventure (alone. Not counting the Iraqi failure or the ongoing Syrian debacle or the…..on and on and on.)

    Someone needs to look at these “deficit haws” and just giggle. Because almost all of them are vehement War Pigs.

  4. passngrin says

    I heard some stuff like roads got privatized in the bill, so it’s not completely good.

    Broadband is a necessity tho; even with all the bad stuff that happens there I do think a lot more people should have access to it.

  5. StonedRanger says

    Id like to know if herr dumpf did anything right in four years. Im having a hard time coming up with anything, but after his many failures I kind of lost interest in even hoping he might do something right by accident if no other way. And by doing something right, I mean did he actually do anything that this country benefitted from? Aside from losing the re election that is.

  6. mnb0 says

    @6 StonedR: “Id like to know if herr dumpf did anything right in four years.”
    Yes, due to his incompetence he didn’t invade any country.

  7. machintelligence says

    Trump might have done something right, but it was by accident —
    and for the wrong reasons.

  8. garnetstar says

    Investing a lot in infrastructure is also the only known way, apparently, to kick the economy into gear, or at least start it going. FDR did it in the depression, Obama in the 2008 recession.

    Had Trump tried, during his last year, it might have saved him by bringing the economy back, in part (which he was responsible for crashing, by not responding to the pandemic.) Instead he chose to kill hundreds of thousands of people.

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