Elaine Chao’s Department of Transportation favored Kentucky yet again with another $30 million for projects this grant cycle
WASHINGTON – Yesterday, the Department of Transportation announced $900 million in national grants for projects in 35 states. Of this huge sum, a whopping 72% will go to states President Trump won in the 2016 election, including 3.4% to Kentucky, the state Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao’s husband Mitch McConnell represents in the Senate. Restore Public Trust released the following statement in response:
“Another day at Elaine Chao’s Department of Transportation, another huge chunk of funds given to Kentucky,” said Lizzy Price, director of Restore Public Trust. “As Chao plays favorites with Kentucky, the state where her husband Mitch McConnell faces reelection next year, she has stalled other crucial infrastructure projects — like the Gateway tunnel — elsewhere in the country. Someone should remind Chao she’s supposed to serve the entire country, not just the states that are politically advantageous.”
Chao’s favoritism towards Kentucky is well-documented. While the state represents only 1.3% of the U.S. population, one fourth of Chao’s meetings during her first 14 months in office were with state and local Kentucky officials. Chao even assigned a DOT liaison to handle McConnell’s Kentucky pet projects.
Meanwhile, Chao has completely stalled progress on the Gateway tunnel, a critical piece of over 100-year-old infrastructure that carries 200,000 passengers daily under the Hudson River. Experts have judged that the tunnel could fail at any time, and that Chao’s failure to fund repairs could result in a $16 billion loss in the regional economy.