President Donald Trump to sign executive order on infrastructure projects

NEW YORK — President Donald Trump will look to reinvigorate his stalled push for a sweeping infrastructure bill Tuesday when he meets with some of his top aides in New York to discuss the plan.
Trump’s attempts to pass an infrastructure reform plan have been largely left on the back burner on Capitol Hill, where issues like health care, tax reform and confirmations have taken precedence.

Trump, according to a White House official, will “receive an update from his infrastructure team” and sign an executive order that he hopes will “bringing accountability and discipline” into the process for permitting infrastructure projects.

Trump campaigned on a pledge to remake the way the federal government handles infrastructure projects, casting himself as a real estate developer who knows what it takes to get a building project done.

“We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals,” Trump said in his victory speech November 9. “We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none. And we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it.”

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The President tried to put a focus on infrastructure earlier this year with an entire week dedicated to the topic, but that plan was overshadowed by Trump himself, who sent a series of tweets on the first day of the week about his travel ban, his Justice Department and the mayor of London and fired FBI Director James Comey the week before.

The week included a trip to Ohio, where the President pushed a plan to upgrade the United States’ inland waterway system of locks and dams, and a visit to the Department of Transportation, where Trump pledged permitting reform and promised help to local leaders.

“To all our state and local leaders here today … I want you to know that help is finally, after many, many decades, on its way,” he said. “We are giving control back to the cities and the states.”

The executive order Trump will sign Tuesday, according to the White House official, will set “a two-year goal for completion of the permitting process” and ensure that projects only need one federal government decision to move forward with a project, not many.

The meeting will include Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Director of the Office of Management Budget Mick Mulvaney and newly installed White House Chief of Staff General John Kelly.

Aides attending the meeting will include Gary Cohn, Trump’s top economic adviser, Stephen Miller, a top policy adviser, and Reed Cordish from the Office of American Innovation.

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One adviser who will not attend the meeting, according to the list provided by a White House official, is Steve Bannon, the controversial strategist who aides signaled over the weekend could be on the outs inside the White House.