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Trump opens 'infrastructure week' without a plan, and calls for privatizing air traffic control

 (Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)
(Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)

President Trump employed all the trappings traditionally reserved for signing major bills into law as he kicked off “infrastructure week” at the White House on Monday: the stately East Room full of dignitaries, a four-piece military band to serenade, celebratory handshakes and souvenir presidential pens for lawmakers, promises of “a great new era” and a “revolution” in technology.

Yet the documents Trump signed amid all the pomp were not new laws or even executive orders. They were routine letters to Congress, relaying support for a minimally detailed plan in Trump’s budget to transfer control of the nation’s air traffic control system to a private nonprofit group.

This was the ceremonial opening to Trump’s full week of infrastructure promotion, which is scheduled to include a speech along the Ohio River on Wednesday and a White House meeting with mayors and governors on Thursday.

But it was also the latest example of a pattern of the administration claiming to have sent Congress fully constructed policies when it has provided only facades — creating the appearance of substantive heft and legislative action even in cases where there is next to none.

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