Happy Infrastructure Week;
or, Feb. 12's White House Press Briefing
Dear readers, what an exciting Monday. It's both infrastructure and budget proposal day. I feel like I got the golden ticket. However, today the press corps was briefed by Sarah Huckabee Sanders on a slew of things — not just fun policy stuff. We started a little late again, so she jumped right into a statement on the recent policy accountants to get us rocking and rolling. (Get it. Rocks. Like in roads? Infrastructure? I'm very funny.)
Six Roads to Success: That's what the White House says is the cornerstone of its recently unveiled infrastructure plan. Those roads are paved with several principles, including:
- $200 billion in federal funds to spur at least $1.5 trillion in infrastructure investments with partners at the state, local, tribal and private level.
- New investments will be made in rural America, which has been left behind for too long
- Decision-making authority will be returned to state and local governments
- Regulatory barriers that needlessly get in the way of infrastructure projects will be removed
- Permitting for infrastructure projects will be streamlined and shortened
- America’s workforce will be supported and strengthened
tl;dr — The administration has put forth an infrastructure plan that Democrats claim is not robust enough, while Republicans see it as a way to bridge party lines. (And with that, I've run out of transportation-related puns.)
Sarah also alerted the press that Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney would be hosting an on-the-record, off-camera briefing following this one.
SPOILER ALERT FROM THE FUTURE: Mulvaney warned reporters that the briefing would be very boring, “the worst,” and that his hair looked bad. Dude has jokes.
And with that, Sarah took our questions.
“We Support Victims” is the message the White House wants to clearly convey after many called into question President Donald Trump's apparent defense of ex-aide Rob Porter. After fielding several questions on why President Trump has yet to make a statement himself on the severity of domestic abuse, Sarah said that her statements are “directly dictated from the president.” Though that hasn't seemed to sit well with many members of the press corps, who are demanding the president take a more direct stance.
No Change in Clearance Process: Looks like the White House will not be tinkering with its security clearance process, which apparently allows members of staff with temporary security passes to have access to confidential files. Sarah says this is nothing new, and a policy many administrations have followed.
How Many Mentions of Vice President Mike Pence's Perceived Kerfuffle With Kim Jong Un's Sister: 0
How Many Mentions of the Fabulous and Historic Triple Axel by USA's Own Mirai Nagasu: 0
Briefing Room VIP: Infrastructure, for constantly believing in itself, even when nobody else will.
And that was the very-light-on-policy-even-though-it-was-policy-day briefing. See you guys tomorrow, which is just one day closer to Valentine's Day. Whoever shares The Briefing, Briefly will receive something very close to my heart: love on twitter dot com. Please, if you can't swipe right on me, swipe right on IJR's content.
See you on the internet!