Travel print pool report #6 - POTUS/Cohn/Chao on infrastructure

From: Jordan Fabian
Date: August 15, 2017 at 5:36:24 PM EDT
Subject: Travel print pool report #6 - POTUS/Cohn/Chao on infrastructure

Finally, here's the report on infrastructure -- the reason POTUS came down to speak in the first place.

In the lobby of Trump Tower around 3:50 p.m., POTUS said he signed an order “to dramatically reform the nation’s badly broken infrastructure approval process.”

“Just blocks away is the Empire State building. It took 11 months to build. But today, it could take as long as a decade," he said.

POTUS the current process costs the economy billions of dollars and stalls needed road, bridge and railway projects.

“This over-regulated permitting process is a self-inflicted on our country. It’s disgraceful, denying our people much needed investments in their community.”

POTUS then held up a long sheet of paper that touched the floor, which he said was a flowchart showing the current permitting process. He said it could take as many as 20 years to get projects approved.

POTUS hen showed off a much shorter piece of paper that he said showed the new process.

Cohn and Chao did come out to take questions after the president spoke. Here are some highlights from the,.

Q: Chao asked about POTUS criticism of her husband, Mitch McConnell.

“I stand by my man. Both of them.”

Q: As a woman of color and a Jewish man, what do you think about the Nazi support for President Trump and his response?

Chao: “As the president has already said in his statement, it is intolerable. We are a country of tolerance and it is hateful behavior and it is not who we are as Americans.”

She responded to a follow up by saying, “we are talking about infrastructure today.”

Cohn gave the same answer when asked if they share the president’s view that the protesters had ulterior motives.

“We share the president’s view that the infrastructure is really important to American and our infrastructure is crumbling, it’s under invested and the approval process takes way too long,” Cohn said.

He said the new process would shorten permitting from 10 years to two years.

"We are here to execute his agenda," Cohn said when asked if the agenda is off track.

Q: What’s your timeline for an infrastructure bill?

Cohn said "you will see a lot of information from us" on tax reform in the coming weeks.

On infrastructure, Cohn said it's going to "come on the heels of taxes."

Q: So probably not this year?

Cohn: "We hope it's this year. We need to get taxes done between now and Thanksgiving. We need to get infrastructure going -- as soon tax comes out of the House and goes to the Senate, we'll put infrastructure in the House."

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Jordan Fabian | White House Correspondent | The Hill | 1625 K Street, NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20006 | xxx@email.com | Desk: (202) xxx-xxx-xxxx | Mobile: (202) xxx-xxx-xxxx | Twitter: @Jordanfabian

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