Dems should get to work
Yesterday’s truck crash in the O’Neill Tunnel, which resulted in gridlock and hours of commuter delays, was a stark reminder of how fragile our infrastructure is. That is why it is important that our congressional delegation prioritize bringing federal resources back to Massachusetts. If there is any big bipartisan legislation to come out of the next Congress, it will likely be in the form of an infrastructure bill, and that means improvements to roads, bridges and other transportation initiatives. So it is concerning that U.S. Rep. Richard Neal of Springfield, in line to be the next House Ways and Means Committee chairman, intends to ask President Trump to produce his tax returns. As reported by The Associated Press, Neill said, “Yes, I think we will” when asked if the committee would seek the returns. “I hope that the president would do this on his own, largely because every president since Gerald R. Ford has voluntarily done this.” It does not seem a particularly wise investment of time to pursue such an end when we know by and large how the endeavor will play out. The president will tell the committee to “pound sand” and the matter will end up in court. All the while Trump and the Democrats will enter into a media Battle Royale that will raise the tension in the country while lowering the level of civility. The president made it clear during Wednesday’s press conference that he would not work with Democrats if they were focused on harassing him with subpoenas and various demands. “We should get along and get deals done,” he said. “Now, we can investigate. They look at us. We look at them. It goes on for two years. Then, at the end of two years, nothing is done. Now, what’s bad for them is, being in the majority, I’m just going to blame them. You understand. I’m going to blame them. They’re the majority.” President Trump will never quit the fight. Sure, Democrats would have a slew of fundraising opportunities during the ordeal, but ultimately the country would be egregiously underserved. As appetizing as seeing the nitty-gritty on the president’s tax returns would be for Democrats and critics alike, it is not a productive exercise. The Massachusetts congressional delegation should prioritize working with this president on infrastructure and should avoid squandering the opportunity to improve the lives of its constituents.