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In Role As Senate Minority Leader, Schumer Eyes Major Infrastructure Upgrades

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- In his first extended comments since the election, New York's senior senator is talking cooperation with the Trump administration.

As CBS2's Lou Young reported, the new Senate Minority Leader believes he can get Donald Trump to deliver for New York.

Senator Chuck Schumer has been upbeat on the subject of infrastructure spending of the kind that's already going on at LaGuardia Airport and the Tappan Zee Bridge.

His wish list begins with the so-called Gateway Rail Tunnel project from New Jersey to Manhattan.

"Gateway would be at the top of the list, but re-doing all of our airports, getting mass transit to them. You have to make sure there's plans for a LIRR route to get out to Ronkonkama," he said.

Critics of Trump's spending plans say they're nothing more than tax cuts for construction firms, but Senator Schumer begs to differ. He said his discussions with the President-elect indicate that he knows real federal money is needed for projects like this.

"I've had a conversation with the President-elect on infrastructure. I believe we need a very strong infrastructure bill. You need actual spending on this area from his statements he agrees with that," Schumer said.

Schumer's list includes highway upgrades for the Cross Bronx and Belt Parkway.

Constituents at an event in Farmingdale were encouraged by what they heard.

"I think Trump's used to spending a lot of money. Now he's spending somebody else's money," one woman said.

"I think Chuck Schumer's a can do guy and President-elect Trump is a can do guy. They're both New Yorkers so that's a plus," a man added.

The senator has a plan he discussed with Trump.

"I said to him, there's a small group of Republicans, especially in the house that don't want to spend any money on highways. That's not true of the majority of both parties, and to get this done he's going to have to break with them, and I hope he will," Schumer said.

High hopes at the start of a new administration.

The same election that is sending Trump to the White House saw Senator Schumer re-elected to a new 6 year term with roughly 60 percent of the vote.


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