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Trump pitches $200B in infrastructure work

Speaks on banks of Ohio River in Cincinnati

By RANDY LUDLOW GateHouse Ohio Media Published: June 8, 2017 4:00 AM
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CINCINNATI -- As barges loaded with West Virginia coal and a tug boat draped with a huge American flag floated on the Ohio River in the background, President Donald Trump promised today that his proposed infrastructure improvement plan "will see jobs and wealth flood into the heartland."

Farmers, manufacturers and miners in Ohio and other Midwest states stand to profit by upgrading roads, waterways and bridges that will help create jobs and further American prosperity, Trump said in remarks at Rivertowne Marina.

America has too long neglected its crumbling infrastructure while spending trillions on Mideast wars and other foreign ventures, Trump said.

"Yet, if we want to fix a road or build a school, we don't ever seem to have the money. It's got to change, folks. It's wrong," the Republican said to an invitation-only crowd of about 300 that included three of his cabinet secretaries and labor leaders.

"It's time to rebuild our country to bring back our jobs and restore our dreams and it's time, finally, to put America first and that's what I've been doing if you haven't noticed." he said to applause.

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Trump wants to leverage $200 billion in the pending federal budget to obtain matching spending by private corporations and state and local governments to generate $1 trillion to tackle a backlog of infrastructure maintenance needs.

The president described his infrastructure plan as a jewel atop policies by his administration that he said have eliminated restrictions on business and job creation, specifically mentioning America's withdrawal from the Paris Accord on global warming, which he called an "anchor."

"We will keep our nation so great and so strong, you never will have outside forces telling us what to do and how to do it," Trump said. "The theft of American prosperity has come to a screeching halt."

Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor was among the Republicans who greeted Trump in Cincinnati. She said his infrastructure proposal holds the promise of helping Ohio tackle its needs, but she awaits more details on how funding would work.

In a statement, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said Trump's plan needs more work.

"I will judge any infrastructure package by whether it's good for Ohio. What we've seen from the president so far falls short," said Brown. "We need the real, meaningful investments the President promised on the campaign trail, not handouts to Wall Street or fees and tolls on working families."


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