Donald Trump failed to sign any significant infrastructure legislation during his presidency despite saying U.S. airports ‘are like from a third world country.’
President Joe Biden’s administration on Thursday announced that $1 billion from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will be used to finance upgrades and repairs to 85 airports across the United States.
The federal funding was made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), which allocates a total of $5 billion to the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Terminals Program over the next five years.
The announcement comes after former President Donald Trump specifically highlighted problems with airport infrastructure but failed to pass significant infrastructure legislation during his presidency to address them.
In a release, the White House said that the grants being awarded to local airports would be used to “expand capacity at our nation’s airport terminals, increase energy efficiency, promote competition and provide greater accessibility for individuals with disabilities.”
The administration said the upgrades would improve customer experience and allow goods to be moved more efficiently, increasing U.S. competitiveness.
“Funded through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, today’s grants will improve airport terminals while also creating good jobs in communities across the country,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released the details of individual projects that are to be funded.
Logan International Airport in Boston will use $62 million from the program to renovate roadways near the airport showing signs of deterioration and to replace one terminal’s HVAC system.
Los Angeles International Airport will use $50 million from the program to reconfigure and repave terminal roadways and to increase capacity for passengers with special access needs. William P. Hobby Airport in Houston will use $3.6 million from the program to add new gates and baggage systems and to improve Americans With Disabilities (ADA) access.
In his first presidential debate against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2016, Trump compared American airports to those found in developing nations and used an offensive, outdated term.
“Our airports are like from a third world country,” Trump said at the time. “You land at LaGuardia, you land at Kennedy, you land at LAX, you land at Newark, and you come in from Dubai and Qatar and you see these incredible — you come in from China, you see these incredible airports, and you land — we’ve become a third world country.”
But Trump repeatedly failed at efforts to get Congress to pass any sort of infrastructure package during his presidency.
In 2018, Trump’s promises of “infrastructure week” came to a halt as he was unable to work with congressional leaders to come up with a plan that could pass through the legislature.
A year later, infrastructure plans came no closer to fruition as Trump focused most of his energy on attacking investigations into his administration.
By contrast, Biden’s administration worked with congressional leaders and was able to enact infrastructure legislation into law within the first year of his presidency on Nov. 15, 2021. The overall legislation will provide $1 trillion nationwide to repair, upgrade, and build infrastructure throughout the country.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.