President Donald Trump’s team included a pair of Chicago rail projects in the Republican's bold $137.5 billion infrastructure plan, McClatchy reports.
Among the roughly 50 proposed projects are plans to redevelop Chicago’s Union Station and modernize the CTA’s Red and Purple lines.
Over the course of his campaign, Trump promised to revitalize the nation’s aging infrastructure. Doubling down during his inaugural address, Trump pledged to “build new roads and highways and bridges and airports and tunnels and railways across our wonderful nation.”
According to Trump’s plan, the Union Station redevelopment will cost an estimated $1 billion and create roughly 1,000 direct jobs. The modernization of the North Side CTA lines will cost an estimated $2.1 billion and create roughly 2,100 jobs.
Trump’s transition team reportedly provided a preliminary list of projects to the National Governors Association, who ultimately shared the list with state officials in December. The group told the officials that those projects were “already being vetted,” according to McClatchy.
A more detailed proposal, circulated within the congressional and business community, proposes funding half the sweeping infrastructure plan through public-private partnerships. A congressional aide told McClatchy that both documents are working drafts that will be developed using input from the National Governors Association.
According to the report, the more in-depth proposal included projects that were nearly identical to those presented to members of the National Governors Association. White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters told McClatchy Wednesday that the more detailed proposal is “not an official White House document,” while a spokesman for the Trump transition said the Excel file in question was “not a Transition document.”
The National Governors Association reportedly confirmed Wednesday that the group received the plan as an Excel file from the transition team.
Additionally, the National Governors Association sent a letter to governors’ offices last month looking for 3 to 5 project suggestions from each state, according to McClatchy. The letter reportedly said proposed projects would be vetted by a bipartisan infrastructure commission overseeing investments.
Meanwhile, Senate Democrats proposed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill Tuesday that would create an estimated 15 million jobs, NBC News reports. The group challenged Trump to work with them to pass the legislation during a press conference Tuesday.
New York Sen. Chuck Schumer dismissed any proposal to cut domestic spending as well as Trump’s plan, which would rely on financing through tax incentives and public-private partnerships.
“We don’t want all the benefits going to developers and wealthy people,” Schumer said. “How we will pay for it we will discuss with President Trump."