Energy

Trump’s Transportation Sec Nominee Punts Questions About Wasteful Agency Funding

President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Department of Transportation refused to answer questions about how the new administration would pay for its promised $1 trillion infrastructure proposal.

There are “major challenge is to unleash the potential for private investment” to pay for future transportation updates, Elaine Chao, Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Transportation, told senators Wednesday during her confirmation hearings.

She did not respond when asked about how funds will be allocated to pay for Trump’s infrastructure goals, telling the senators on the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation that, “We need more resources to build, repair, refurbish our infrastructure.”

Chao did suggest using “innovative financing tools” that “take full advantage of the estimated trillions in capital that equity firms, pension funds and endowments can invest.” She called Trump’s ideas on infrastructure develop “ambitious” and “futuristic.”

Trump proposed a $1 trillion plan to overhaul the country’s infrastructure during the election. Democratic and Republican lawmakers have criticized his proposal and his suggestion that it would be financed through tax credits, which theoretically encourages private spending.

The president-elect has repeatedly said that the country’s roads and bridges are in terrible shape and need to be rebuilt. It’s an area he believes can be addressed in a bipartisan fashion.

“Secretary Chao’s extensive record of strong leadership and her expertise are invaluable assets in our mission to rebuild our infrastructure in a fiscally responsible manner,” Trump said in a statement.

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