Hours after a deadly Amtrak derailment in Washington, President Donald Trump on Monday pushed his "soon to be submitted" infrastructure plan as a way to prevent future tragedies.
"The train accident that just occurred in DuPont, WA shows more than ever why our soon to be submitted infrastructure plan must be approved quickly. Seven trillion dollars spent in the Middle East while our roads, bridges, tunnels, railways (and more) crumble! Not for long!" Trump tweeted in his first remarks responding to the accident.
Trump's tweet is misleading on a number of fronts. His plan to rebuild America's infrastructure has been delayed several times over, and there are questions about what's in it and how it will be funded. And although it's not clear what caused Monday's deadly incident, it wasn't a case of crumbling infrastructure — it happened on recently renovated tracks.
No infrastructure plan yet
Trumpvowed to introduce legislation that would spur a $1 trillion investment into American infrastructure during his first hundred days as president. That deadline has long since come and gone. Trump never put forth a proposal, and his party set out to tackle health care and taxes first, pushing infrastructure to the back burner. In May, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said aproposal was imminent, though the goal was for the third quarter of the year. This deadline, too, has passed.
There's also confusion about what the plan will actually look like. After his team initially said that the $1 trillion would largely consist of public-private partnerships, Trump told lawmakers in September that he felt those partnerships were "more trouble than they're worth," according to The Wall Street Journal.
Amid attempts to repeal and replace Obamacare, the president has focused little on infrastructure. The last big push was an "Infrastructure Week" in June. While light on policy proposals, it was meant to serve as the White House's counterprogramming to the blockbuster congressional testimony of former FBI chief James Comey, but the president steamrolled the week with off-topic speeches and tweets.