White House infrastructure security council members resign
Several members of President Donald Trump's National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NAIC) resigned on Monday, according to The Hill.
The council was created by former President George W. Bush, and the members who resigned were appointed by former President Barack Obama. The panel, which can have as many as 30 members, advises the White House and the Department of Homeland Security on infrastructure and information systems of national significance.
Members of some of Trump's other advisory councils have also resigned or have been disbanded as part of the fallout from the president's response to the deadly protests in Charlottesville, VA, earlier this month.
The NAIC is not the same infrastructure task force that Trump announced last year and was in the process of assembling before scrapping those plans last week. That advisory group was to be headed by New York real estate developers Richard LeFrak and Steven Roth. The pair were to oversee a group of 15 to 20 builders and engineers in advising the administration's infrastructure plans.
Trump took heat for the private nature of the board's membership and activities and for its potential conflicts of interest. For instance, Roth, who is the CEO of Vornado Realty Trust, had a connection to the proposed $2 billion FBI headquarters project, which was canceled last month but now could be back on the table.
Some lawmakers also saw the task force as an end-run around the Senate confirmation process as neither LeFrak's nor Roth's positions were cabinet-level appointments, even though they stood to wield considerable influence over the country's infrastructure program. Trump issued an executive order on July 19 establishing the group as an official advisory council.
Even before the group was official, however, LeFrak was able to fire off some suggestions about how the federal government could shorten permitting timelines on many infrastructure projects. His suggested model was akin to bankruptcy court arbitration. Earlier this month, Trump issued an executive order also concerning permitting, in this case calling for a single federal agency to oversee the process per project.
- The Hill Members resign from White House council on infrastructure security
- Department of Homeland Security National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC)
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