It’s not at all clear that President-elect Donald Trump’s plans to spend massively on infrastructure are going to unfold as he promised.
Trump made rebuilding the nation’s aging roads, bridges and airports very much part of his job-creation strategy in the presidential race. But as The Associated Press reports, lobbyists have begun to fear there won’t be an infrastructure proposal at all—or at least not the grand plan they’d been led to expect.
Reince Priebus, who will be Trump’s chief of staff, said in a radio interview that the new administration will focus in its first nine months with other issues like health care and rewriting tax laws. He sidestepped questions about the infrastructure plan.
In a post-election interview with The New York Times, Trump himself seemed to back away, saying infrastructure won’t be a “core” part of the first few years of his administration. But he added there will still be “a very large-scale infrastructure bill.”
Trump acknowledged that he didn’t realize during the campaign that New Deal-style proposals to put people to work building infrastructure might conflict with his party’s small-government philosophy. “That’s not a very Republican thing—I didn’t even know that, frankly,” he said.
Since the election, Trump has backed away—or at least suggested flexibility—on a range of issues that energized his supporters during the campaign, including his promises to prosecute Hillary Clinton, pull out of the Paris climate change accord and reinstitute waterboarding for detainees.
Trump transition officials didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press, which has the full story.