Gabrielle Gurley

Gabrielle Gurley is The American Prospect’s deputy editor. Her email is

Recent Articles

The Rose Garden Infrastructure Massacre

Trump is all about his own drama, even when presented with a chance to build projects that can save Americans’ lives.

Last week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce hung a huge banner outside its Lafayette Square headquarters directly facing the White House, listing the names of three Republican presidents and their infrastructure accomplishments—past and, the Chamber hoped, future. It was Infrastructure Week, which the Chamber, the AFL-CIO, the American Society of Civil Engineers, and others use every year to stress the importance of infrastructure to their fellow Americans. Eisenhower got a nod for the interstate highway system; Reagan kudos for raising the gas tax that fuels the Highway Trust Fund, the lockbox for highway and mass transit dollars. Donald Trump was on the list, too. But his inclusion had a troll-like “your name here” quality—reminding him that he had a “historic opportunity” to come up with a 21st-century infrastructure program. Of course, this diverse and bipartisan coalition had every reason to be concerned: On Wednesday, the president showed how well...

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...