WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- Louisiana's Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards is in Washington, DC today to talk about improving the state's bridges and highways.
DC Correspondent Alana Austin interviewed him today about his meeting at the White House.
Edwards says he's in DC because that's what's in the best interest of his state. He says the federal government's infrastructure plan is moving forward, and this is a big opportunity for Louisiana.
President Donald Trump met with dozens of state and local leaders at the White House this afternoon.
He and other GOP leaders on Capitol Hill are still working out details of a plan, but at this point, it looks like the federal government is willing to approve $200 billion dollars in spending to support projects across the country.
Their goal is to see state and local governments, as well as private companies invest billions more to fix roads, highways, bridges and more.
Alana: "At least 100 bridges are structurally deficient at this point in just the northeastern part of the state alone - how confident are you coming out of today's meeting that you will have the federal backing to address some of those concerns?
"Well that's really where the rural block grant opportunities gonna pay dividends for us, we believe. Our secretary of transportation closed 48 bridges last year. This year, he's already closed four," explained Governor John Bel Edwards (D-LA).
Alana: "you're a Democrat coming to the table here with President Trump. There are many on your side of the aisle that haven't necessarily been willing to do that. They've had some reservations. You know, what brought you to the table here today?"
Edwards: "Well I'm the governor of the state of Louisiana and last I checked, we're still part of the union. I cannot do my job serving them if I have an adversarial relationship with the White House, whoever the President's going to be."
"It's my job to work with the administration - in good faith - to further our mutual interests and I'm going to continue to do that and I look forward to working with the President and his team going forward," said Edwards.
The Governor says he also hopes to leverage new federal spending to support workforce development.
Another item taken up today that he thinks could really help Louisiana - a federal goal to cut down on the time it takes to approve permits on construction projects.