On the campaign trail, Donald Trump promised to expand the nation’s infrastructure and create jobs. Now at only a month into his presidency, he is breaking that promise.
The Trump administration’s newly appointed Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao – wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has halted a critical $647 million in infrastructure payments to California’s Bay Area, killing the expansion of a high-speed rail and infrastructure project managed by Caltrain, a rail service that runs between San Jose and San Francisco.
The project, which was set to begin on March 1, would have modernized the rail system with electric trains, creating faster and cleaner transportation for commuters. Contracts are already in place to begin the work, but without the approval from Chao, the state will not be able to honor those contracts and will have to cancel the project.
He “pretty much killed hopes for high-speed rail coming to San Francisco anytime soon” mourned SFGate.
The state has already invested $150 million into the planning process, money that will be likely be lost at the hands of yet another broken promise by Trump’s administration.
Trump’s broken promise on funding such projects also affects the thousands of jobs that would have been created throughout the life of the project. Job creation was a staple of Trump’s campaign promises, but like most promises Trump made, this one is not going to come to fruition.
Chao has two weeks to audit the state’s plan and to approve it if it were to be saved. However, the Trump campaign is choosing to politicize this project, no doubt in part to California’s resistance against his administration.
California’s state government has been openly criticizing Trump and has mounted a resistance against the Trump administration. Governor Jerry Brown has promised to make California a sanctuary state for refugees and has sued the federal government over Trump’s Muslim travel ban.
Brown even suggested that California could cut off federal payments in responses to Trump’s policies.
Trump did not take these threats lightly and went as far as threatening to defund “out of control” California, especially after students at UC Berkeley protested in order to cancel an appearance by hate speaker and professional troll Milo Yiannopoulos.
If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view – NO FEDERAL FUNDS?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2017
It is also no coincidence that the administration that believes climate change is a Chinese conspiracy is halting payments to green projects such as this. With Trump openly advocating in favor of infrastructure improvements and high-speed rails, these actions against California are clearly geared towards hurting the state.
Trump is going to allow his bruised ego to affect the much-needed improvements in California and residents of the Bay Area are going to pay the biggest price for the president’s pettiness.
Dan Arel is a bestselling author of The Secular Activist; and Parenting Without God. He is an award-winning journalist and host of the Danthropology Podcast.