Trump wants Congress to force the Transportation Department to sell the federal public transportation agency to private companies, according to a letter obtained by The American Conservatives.
The letter from Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) and Rep. John Lewis (D) also demands that the agency sell off more of its assets, including its fleet of passenger rail cars, buses, taxis, and private-jet aircraft.
The two lawmakers want the Department of Transportation to sell off its fleet to private investors.
Trump’s budget proposal released Thursday included an amendment that would allow the Transportation Secretary to privatizethe agency.
It’s unclear whether the Trump administration would be willing to accept the amendment, given that the Transportation secretary was named to the position by President Donald Trump in January.
In the letter, Beyer and Lewis say that the department is facing a “mounting” backlog of passenger service needs and that privatization is “an extremely cost-effective option.”
The Department of Homeland Security has said that it wants to keep the agency open and operate it as long as possible, but it is still in need of federal funding to make the agency fully operational.
The Transportation Department has already lost about $1 billion in funding over the last decade because of sequestration, and Beyer said that privatization “could save the department $2 billion per year, in addition to allowing it to fulfill its mission of ensuring public safety and ensuring our nation’s public safety system is protected.”
The Trump administration has said the privatization plan is to create more private-sector jobs and help the agency expand.
It also wants to raise more money for the Transportation Security Administration, which has been under a major federal investigation since the summer of 2016, and would allow states to pass stricter gun laws and improve access to mental health care.
The Department has also faced a growing public outcry over the recent mass shooting at the Las Vegas Strip, which left 58 dead and more than 500 injured.
Trump has repeatedly called for stricter gun control measures.
He has also said that the federal government is not doing enough to prevent mass shootings, and the Department has called for a review of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which tracks firearms purchases in the United States.
In July, the Transportation department announced that it was going to stop buying cars for public transportation, which prompted outrage from some Republicans, including Sens.
John Cornyn (R-Tex.) and Marco Rubio (R.
Fla.), who said that privatizing the public transportation network was a violation of the Second Amendment.
The Trump transition team did not respond to a request for comment on the Beyer-Lewis letter.
The National Governors Association, which represents governors and other federal officials, has said it supports the privatization of the transportation system.
But it said that its members were already working with private industry to “strengthen our nation and address our nation-wide transportation challenges.”
The Association did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment on Beyer’s and Lewis’ letter.