There’s been plenty of talk about a caravan of migrants and not nearly enough discussion about the bumper-to-bumper traffic paralyzing our economy. The funding dispute over a wall or a fence along the Mexican border resulted in the high-profile partial government shutdown of which President Donald Trump took ownership. Meanwhile, a massive tunnel project meant to facilitate access to the Big Apple is shunned by the president who built a real estate empire there.
Whenever infrastructure talks gain any sort of momentum, they’re abruptly derailed by the immigration crisis matter du jour. Like in 2018, the politics of immigration this year are already eclipsing the efforts for advancing common sense infrastructure funding measures aimed at guaranteeing the solvency of the federal highway account.
After the midterm elections the potential for advancing an infrastructure funding measure in the upcoming Congress dominated the cable news cycle.
Incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters last month funding for infrastructure projects is “something the country wants very much.”
On “Fox News Sunday” on Dec. 30, senior Republican Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana stressed: “Let’s talk about infrastructure. A lot of other issues we can work on in the new year, but Democrats have to be willing to work with this president.”
But Trump threatened to squash any infrastructure package that were to reach his desk if his big, beautiful wall went unappropriated by taxpayers. Two days into the new year and we’re already a dozen days deep on a partial government shutdown. It appears that, at least in the short term, immigration will trump infrastructure.
THE WEEK AHEAD (all times Eastern):
Jan. 3, 6:30 p.m.: Emily’s List holds an event to celebrate the wave of newly elected women in Congress. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is scheduled to attend.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
CARS: United Road Services has joined with The Carlyle Group and other investors to acquire Colorado-based Fleet Car Carriers.
OCEANICS: The Rhode Island Department of Transportation has received federal approval to advance construction on 10 more truck-tolling gantries.
A PROSPEROUS YEAR: Without a doubt, 2018 was a banner year for trucking and almost every other form of freight transportation.
WHAT WE’RE READING:
‘Hey, wake up! This is important!’ Dave Barry puts 2018 into perspective.
Add nominations to Trump’s to-do list for the 116th Congress. While the nominees for leadership roles at NHTSA, among other agencies, had advanced through committee, they were not considered by the full Senate during the lame-duck session.
The president comes from a world where each deal is discrete. It’s this piece of real estate. We argue. We sue each other. We fight and then it’s only money, so let’s make a compromise and we move on.
— Chris Christie on ABC’s “This Week” on Dec. 23.
Where’s Gritty when you need him?
Cuteness not funded during shutdown.
Bye-bye Bei Bei: National Zoo's panda cam goes dark amid government shutdown. https://t.co/z07p7I6ObD— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 2, 2019