President Donald Trump met Thursday afternoon with several dozen governors, mayors, county commissioners and tribal leaders at the White House for a "summit" to discuss his plans to revitalize America's crumbling infrastructure.
"We're doing a great job with respect to infrastructure all over, and I'm very proud of it," he said at the outset of his prepared statement at the opening of the summit. "It's going to be—it's going to take off like a rocket ship. It will move very quickly.
"Together, we're going to rebuild America. Earlier this week, we announced our plan to revolutionize air traffic control, and yesterday, I traveled to Cincinnati to discuss our new vision for American infrastructure and our plans to modernize our vital inland waterways, which are so important, and which are, in many cases, crumbling."
The meeting at the White House was meant to be an opportunity for the president to discuss directly with local government leaders how the Trump administration intends to work with them to "create the infrastructure of the future." Simultaneous to the summit, the White House revealed the plan will entail:
Rebuilding America's infrastructure is a critical pillar of President Donald J. Trump's agenda to promote job creation and grow the U.S. economy. America's infrastructure has fallen to 12th in the world and that is unacceptable. Every American depends on our roads, rails, ports and airports, and the president is committed to fixing this problem, not just pushing more liabilities onto future generations.
President Trump's regulatory reforms will spur growth and investment. In order to jump-start investment, the president aims to dramatically reduce permitting time for these infrastructure projects from 10 years to two years and to get a yes or no quickly by slashing regulations.
The president's plan will make America dominant by unleashing private sector capital and expertise to rebuild our cities and states.
The president has dedicated $200 billion in his budget for infrastructure that can be leveraged for a $1 trillion investment into our crumbling systems. Investing in rural infrastructure is a key part of the president's plan.
The president's plan will also invest in bold, new, transformative projects that will change America's approach to infrastructure.
The president's plan will also make America ready for the future with a work-force training initiative focused on skill-based apprenticeship education.
President Trump's plan addresses these challenges directly and implements new policies to make America's infrastructure second to none.
You can watch the president's entire opening remarks with local government leaders in the video clip above. Prior to that meeting, Vice President Mike Pence conducted a "working luncheon" at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building adjacent to the White House. There, he gave a speech to local government leaders in attendance, which included the following:
It was exactly 86 years ago last month, in the midst of the Great Depression, that American workers broke ground on a project unlike anything our nation had ever built. America had a vision to bring irrigation and electricity to vast swaths of the American Southwest, to make the desert bloom with crops and hum with industry. This required something not just new, but, frankly, revolutionary. No structure of its kind had ever built—in size had ever been built. And the feats of engineering necessary to complete it had only been written down on paper and theorized; it had never been tested.
Many said it was impossible. But America, as usual, proved them wrong—and we did the impossible. Our people rose to the challenge and completed their work in just five years, ahead of schedule and under budget. And when the waters of the Colorado River poured forth from the Hoover Dam, the world looked on with wonder at what America had done.
The president sees our duty today is simply to recapture that same spirit—that spirit that had the world stand in awe of what Americans do and what we build. And we'll be there again. We'll demonstrate to the world again as we reach for a brighter future, as we build an infrastructure that every American can be proud of in every community large and small; that we once again can marvel the world with our innovation and our investment and our creativity and our people.
But we've got our work cut out for us. The infrastructure challenges of today and tomorrow are larger than any we've ever faced in the modern era. But I promise you, we're up to the task, and we know you are as well. President Trump has the vision, and the American people have the ingenuity and the indomitable will to make it happen.
We have an opportunity and an obligation to accomplish great things in our time—to rebuild our streets, to renew our cities, to usher in a new era of opportunity for the American people and our posterity. And this we know we'll do.
In partnership with each one of you, the discussions that we have today are just a beginning. And with the leadership of President Donald Trump, I have every confidence that we will rebuild America, we will make America prosperous again, we will make our roads and highways more safe again. In a word, to borrow a phrase, we'll Make America Great Again.
You can also watch the vice president's entire speech in the video clip below.
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