Trump, Cuomo Talk Infrastructure as a Coronavirus Response

By Matthew McMullan
May 27 2020 |
New York’s Tappan Zee Bridge, under construction in 2017, adhered to Buy America laws and was constructed with American-made steel. | Wikimedia Commons

Can American infrastructure spending boost the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic?

President Trump hosted New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo today at the White House to talk about the federal economic response to the coronavirus – and the potential that infrastructure spending could serve as a major vehicle for that response.

President Trump and House Democrats talked about spending big on infrastructure as part of the $2.2 trillion coronavirus bill that passed in March, but alas, they didn’t get it done.

But the national economy is still tanking, state budgets have been absolutely destroyed, and tens of millions of people are out of work. As the pandemic slogs on and we take baby steps back out the door, an American-made infrastructure program would give the U.S. economy a real shot in the arm. Maybe we could even repair some dams.

Andrew Cuomo may be just one governor, but he represents the fourth-most populated state in the country and the third-largest economy. He’s also from Queens, just like President Trump. They both like talking about domestic manufacturing, and Gov. Cuomo just signed major Buy America legislation into New York state law. Maybe these two, one a Republican and one a Democrat, can find some common ground in a presidential election year and help the country climb out of the economic chasm it has fallen into.

So … how did the meeting go?

Cuomo says It went good!

Cuomo acknowledged Wednesday that he and Trump have “political differences,” but said the two have put aside those issues in dealing with one another during the pandemic.

“It was not about politics,” the New York Democrat said of the meeting. “It was about how do we supercharge the reopening especially in New York which has been hardest hit, how do we take some of these big infrastructure projects that have been sitting around for a long time — which if we were all smarter and better we would have done them 30 years ago — and actually get them up and running because we have to do this work anyway and because we need the jobs now more than ever.”

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, our deterioriating infrastructure is sapping billions of dollars out of the American economy. If we fix this – and ensure it’s done with American-made construction materials – it could get us out of the chasm by generating a ton of domestic economic activity that otherwise wouldn’t be there.

Now is the time to do it. Send a petition to President Trump, because it's time to get to work: Fix American infrastructure.