Questions surround Trump’s transportation plan

Elaine Chao
Elaine Chao provides testimony to senators during a hearing on her nomination to become transportation secretary. Chao’s husband, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, is seated behind her to the left. (Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee via Video)

President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for transportation secretary, Elaine Chao, held back from a commitment to continue supporting transit projects that are already in the pipeline for the Seattle region during today’s Senate confirmation hearing.

The opportunity to do so came during questioning by Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., who made reference to Washington state’s rapid economic growth.

“We have growth, we have an economic engine, but we desperately, desperately, desperately, desperately need the infrastructure investment,” Cantwell told Chao.

In November, voters in King, Pierce Snohomish counties approved a $54 billion package to expand Sound Transit bus and rail service over the next 25 years. However, the Sound Transit 3 package assumes that the federal government will kick in $4.7 billion to cover some of the construction costs.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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