Trump heading to Ohio to talk infrastructure

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Howland, D-13th, joined the three other Ohio Democrats in the U.S. House in writing a letter Wednesday to Trump urging his administration to act on broad policies that invest in America's infrastructure.

Bahrain, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have cut diplomatic ties to Qatar, accusing it of backing extremist groups.

US President Donald Trump has presented a plan to improve the country's infrastructure and once again make the US a nation of "builders", giving authorities more freedom of action, fewer environmental regulations and private support.

Trump declared the days of spending on other nations are over: "It's time to rebuild our country" and to "put America first", he said.

In the speech, the president also pressed the Senate to send him a health care bill, criticized congressional Democrats as "obstructionists" and revisited his controversial decision to pull the US out of the Paris climate agreement.

The president said during a speech on Wednesday in Cincinnati that businesses "are ready to invest in creating jobs, but we've been waiting for a responsible partner in the federal government", although he did not identify specific projects that will receive private money.

Trump is speaking at a marina overlooking the Ohio River.

"A difference between the President's proposal and Barack Obama's Stimulus is the focus on accountability of how federal tax dollars will be spent", the White House official said, referencing Obama's 2009 spending bill.

Infrastructure was expected to be one area where Trump could work with Democrats in Congress to achieve a bipartisan legislative victory, but the idea of privatizing public assets is anathema to many members of the minority party.

He blamed Democrats for obstructing the long promised Republican repeal and replace of the Democrats' signature healthcare law, calling them "obstructionists" and lamenting the lack of bipartisanship on "every single thing".

Trump met briefly with family business owners impacted by rising health insurance premiums.

"Obamacare is dead", Trump said.

Waterways - not just roads and bridges - were discussed as a vital component of US infrastructure.

During a campaign stop in Wilmington Ohio a year ago, Trump said he would redirect billions of dollars in payments to the United Nations to combat climate change and "use that money to invest in America", including replacing the double-decker bridge.

The president said that when he traveled the nation during his campaign he noticed the "crumbling infrastructure".

President Donald Trump will discuss his infrastructure plan in a speech from Cincinnati, Ohio Wednesday afternoon. Trump spoke about a wide range of topics, including Obamacare, the recent arms deal with Saudi Arabia, and worldwide terrorism, while promising to both cut taxes and somehow fund a $1 trillion infrastructure program by stripping government regulations and expediting environmental impact assessments (don't worry, he said our waterways will still be the "cleanest" in the world). The federal government usually spends about $50 billion per year on roads, but the gas tax only brings in $34 billion.

Trump said he will task a team, led by real-estate developers Richard LeFrak and Steven Roth, to oversee all projects included in his infrastructure bill in order to ensure timely and efficient delivery.

The result: Democrats, who once anxious about the president barnstorming the country to take credit for new jobs and investment, are feeling no pressure to act on an amorphous and easily demonized plan.

At Wednesday's rally, Trump reminded the crowd he won Ohio's 16 electoral votes in last year's election.

"We're working very hard to fix this big problem", he said. "When President Trump spoke today about "private dollars" in infrastructure, specifically relating to surface transportation, he is talking about tolls".

  • Zachary Reyes