Gabrielle Gurley

Gabrielle Gurley is The American Prospect’s deputy editor. Her email is ggurley@prospect.org.

Recent Articles

The Great American Infrastructure Farce

The latest episode of Infrastructure Week was brought to you by the number two trillion.

The national news media echo chamber duly produced the same headline from Tuesday’s White House infrastructure meeting with President Trump: a $2 trillion infrastructure “agreement” touted by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer during a weirdly sanguine follow-up news conference, punctuated with vague platitudes and phantom bipartisanship. The $2 trillion is merely a number that gained traction after a St. Patrick’s Day confab between Trump and Richard Neal of Massachusetts, the House Ways and Means chairman. Agreeing on a number, however, does not necessarily portend a solid plan to repair structurally deficient bridges, extend broadband internet, or replace the lead pipes that still bring water to millions of American homes. Nor does the $2 trillion number deliver a host of cutting-edge 21st-century projects. Trump is sold on $2 trillion, apparently because he thinks it sounds better than lower figures, according to a source...

No Surprise: Trump’s “Buy American” Policy Is a Sham

But while the president refuses to set or enforce real standards, congressional support for domestic production is rising in both parties.

Two years ago, Donald Trump announced his administration would “follow two simple rules: Buy American and Hire American.” At most of the de facto campaign rallies he’s held since his inauguration, “Buy American” has been a reliable applause line. But Trump’s talks and tweets have not been backed up by any Trump policies that strengthen Buy American policies regarding the use of American-made goods and materials in projects paid for with taxpayer funds. In an age of polarization, the issue stands out for its strong bipartisan appeal. Americans across the ideological spectrum understand that many bridges, roads, tunnels, and drinking water systems have long since exceeded their life spans. An Alliance for American Manufacturing “National Survey on Infrastructure and Buy America Policies” released earlier this month found that 81 percent of 1,200 likely 2020 voters wanted the president and Congress to focus on repairing transportation and...

Amazon Cashes Out

Faced with a nationwide backlash, the world’s largest online retailer pulls back its plan for cashless stores. For now.

Elaine Thompson/AP Photo
Responding to a rising tide of big-city opposition, Amazon announced on Wednesday that it would accept cash (or as the company calls it, “additional payment mechanisms”) at its Amazon Go convenience stores. In March, Philadelphia banned cashless stores, becoming the first U.S. city to reject the burgeoning trend. City officials argued that the stores put unbanked low-income, immigrant, and minority consumers at a major disadvantage. Poised to be a major beneficiary of the model, Amazon tried to muscle out an exemption for its high-end Amazon Go cashless convenience stores. Instead, Philly defied Amazon, the second major metro to do so after New York shocked the country in February by forcing out the company after the city had earned the dubious honor of being selected as one of the sites for Amazon’s second headquarters. Now, New York is poised to join the anti-cashless revolt, too, along with San Francisco, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. New Jersey has already ruled...

Do All Roads Lead to Congestion Pricing?

Portland, Oregon, and New York are taking different routes to charging drivers who need to get downtown during the rush hour. They’ll also have to think hard about the impacts on low-income residents.

This article is a preview of the Spring 2019 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . On Monday, New York state legislative leaders effectively agreed that congestion pricing is only way to solve the New York City transit crisis. The plan, likely to be the first of its kind in the country, would charge drivers a fee to access Midtown Manhattan and funnel billions into a massive effort to overhaul 115-year-old New York City subway system, improve bus service, and provide other long-over due upgrades. With an April 1 deadline to deliver a plan that can be incorporated into the state budget, state lawmakers will have to move quickly to resolve outstanding questions about specific rates and possible exemptions and discounts—issues which for the moment remain murky. This article considers the challenges congestion pricing poses for Portland and New York. screen_shot_2017-07-19_at_4.28.52_pm.png Portland, Oregon, should be a prime candidate for congestion pricing. The...

The Hudson River Rail Tunnel Gets Boost From Congress but Problems Loom

Preoccupied with his border wall, Trump has little to say about newly authorized funding—and he’s still sitting on last year’s money.

AP Photo/Mel Evans, File A view of the train tunnel under the Hudson River as seen from the back of an Amtrak train bound for New York's Penn Station. screen_shot_2017-07-19_at_4.28.52_pm.png Little noticed in the maelstrom over the shutdown-averting deal and the president’s border wall emergency declaration was some good news for New Jersey and New York. Among the appropriations that kept the government running was $650 million for Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, the busiest and most profitable segment of the national rail network. Portions of that funding will go to the $30 billion Gateway Program to revitalize crumbling rail connections between New York and New Jersey, some of them more than a century old. Yet despite the signed, sealed and delivered deal, the Trump administration continues to resort to Nixonian tactics to block Gateway funds and delay replacing the Hurricane Sandy-damaged tunnel. Department of Transportation officials manage to do Trump’s bidding on...

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