Dems should get to work

Boston Herald - - OPINION -

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.

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