CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois U-S Senator Tammy Duckworth is assuring local officials she is putting pressure on the new Trump Administration to invest federal funds to improve Illinois’ infrastructure.
At a roundtable with elected officials and local leaders, State Senator Martin Sandoval expressed doubts that the Trump Administration will send more money to Illinois for job-creating transportation projects. He said Illinois does not get much of every dollar that it sends to Washington now, ranking 47th among the states. WBBM’s Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports.
“If we really believe that Illinois, Chicago is a hub of this country – rail, air, highway – then, we are fooling ourselves,” Sen. Sandoval said.
But, Senator Tammy Duckworth said she wants to hold President Trump to his promises about infrastructure. She said if he puts forth a credible plan for infrastructure investment, she will support it. But she said she intends to make sure Illinois gets as much of its money and projects that it can.
“If he comes forward with a decent infrastructure package, an infrastructure investment plan, then I will work with him,” Sen. Duckworth said. “I will work to make sure as much of that money can get back to Illinois as possible.”
And she said she’s had encouraging meetings with the President’s choices for Secretaries of Commerce and Transportation.
Senator Tammy Duckworth admitted she has not heard details from President Trump about infrastructure plans, but she said she’s had encouraging talks with Transportation Secretary Elain Chao and especially incoming Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
“We talked for probably a good hour about the needs for economic investment in Chicago,” Sen. Duckworth said. “The need for better trade agreements, the need for us to make sure we represent American businesses and trade disputes internationally.”
But, State Senator Martin Sandoval doubts local businesses will benefit. He said he expects the President to ensure that national companies backed by billionaires will reap the dividends.
“I’m concerned that the work is going to go to national contractors that are lined with the billionaires of this country,” Sen. Sandoval said.
Duckworth is more optimistic. She said she’ll push for local companies to get the work.