— In the final weeks of his presidency, President Donald Trump and his advisers were faced with a critical decision: Should they use a new law known as the Rebuild America Act, or RAFA, as a template to rebuild the country or give in to political pressure and delay the legislation?
The law, which was introduced by Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut in March, requires Trump to submit a plan to Congress by March 23.
The law requires Trump and congressional leaders to work with Congress to finalize legislation that would create 10 million new jobs by 2024.
The president and his staff have repeatedly said they will submit a revised plan by May 6, but they haven’t done so publicly.
On Thursday, the president signed the RAFA into law.
His decision to delay the law came after the Republican-led House of Representatives passed the RAFF Act, a bill that would delay the implementation of the act and allow the president to veto it if Congress doesn’t act to finalise it by May.
The act would create a $1 trillion infrastructure package to rebuild America.
While it’s unclear how much of that will be paid for by the federal government, the bill would include $2 trillion for the Department of Transportation, $1.6 trillion for other public transportation agencies, and $300 billion for other infrastructure projects.
President Trump on Thursday signed the ReBuild America Act into law, after the GOP-led Congress passed the legislation.
(Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)On Thursday morning, Trump was asked about the delay by ABC News’ Jonathan Karl and said the president would submit a new plan to the House by the end of May.
“It’s not a matter of delaying or postponing,” Trump said.
“It’s a matter that we have to finish.
The plan that we submitted to Congress is not a good plan.
And it is a good deal for the United States.
We’re going to submit that plan as soon as possible.
That will be good for the American people.”
Trump also said the RAFTA bill is not going to be a substitute for a new tax on Wall Street that has been widely criticized.
Trump and his aides have repeatedly called for the tax on the financial sector.
But many economists have said the tax would be a boon for Wall Street, not a drag on the economy.
“The president has been talking about bringing back the Wall Street tax.
This bill, if it becomes law, will make it more expensive for Wall Streets to buy derivatives and other financial instruments,” said Adam Posen, the chief economist at the Council of Economic Advisers.
“In other words, the law is not designed to bring the economy back from the brink of collapse, but to make it a bit more resilient and a bit less fragile.
This bill would devastate millions of Americans. “
The president’s decision to put his personal greed above the needs of our country, and to continue using taxpayer dollars to prop up Wall Street banks and hedge funds at the expense of American families, is a sad day for our democracy,” Schumer said in a statement Thursday.
“This bill would devastate millions of Americans.
The Wall Street bailout was a bad law.
We have to do better,” Schumer added.
In addition to the RAFE Act, Trump also signed the bill that requires the Environmental Protection Agency to begin taking actions to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas wells.
The law also allows states to create a methane emergency management plan, which would require companies to reduce the amount of methane they produce and store in landfills.
“Congress has an opportunity to pass this legislation,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in an email Thursday.
“This is not about delaying action on the RAFOA, which has been stalled for months.
This is about moving forward with the infrastructure and tax bills.
We’ll work with the Congress on the legislation, and we’re hopeful that they’ll be able to come to a solution on this issue.”