A broken down bridge
Photography by Davis Burroughs

While President Trump appeared to backtrack on a $2 trillion infrastructure agreement with Democrats, Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.) spent last week advocating for better sewer services and broadband connections on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

Luria pushed for the infrastructure improvements during her testimony before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

She said expanding rural broadband should be a priority for the committee, which puts her in line with a fellow Virginia Democrat, Rep. Abigail Spanberger, who has also made rural broadband a priority.

Luria said access to high-speed internet is “essential to participating in the modern economy. Reliable, fast internet access can connect people to other communities, health providers, jobs, and even allow them to start their own businesses.”

Luria estimated the cost of expanding broadband to Virginia’s Eastern Shore at $30 million, and said expanding and modernizing sewer services on the Eastern Shore would be integral to future economic development and improve the health of the community.

Whether or not Congress funds any infrastructure proposal depends on whether President Trump can get fellow Republicans and members of his own administration on board.

Most Republicans have balked at the cost of the initiative, and the President’s Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnnell (R-Ky) oppose the effort.

If the last few day are any indication, the outlook doesn’t look good. Faced with overwhelming opposition from within his own party as well as outside conservative activists and special interests, Trump has done little to follow-up on the initial agreement.