Trump To Unveil $1.5 Trillion Infrastructure Plan

12 February, 2018, 15:59 | Author: Wade Massey
  • White House to increase spending in FY 2019 budget to be released Monday

President Trump will finally be unveiling his long-awaited $1.5 trillion plan to fix and rebuild the nation's crumbling highways, bridges, railroads, airports, seaports and water systems Monday.

Both parties agree that America's infrastructure is in need of some serious work after decades of under-investment, but the $1.5 trillion plan President Trump plans to roll out Monday is still expected to be controversial-especially because of disagreements over where the $1.5 trillion is supposed to come from from.

"Together, we can reclaim our building heritage", he said.

The White House Monday will unveil the main objectives it wants Congress to include in a legislative plan to try to tackle the nation's crumbling infrastructure.

One senior administration official said that President Trump and his Cabinet will be traveling across the nation to sell the infrastructure plan.

"President Trump's infrastructure proposal is a disaster", Shelley Poticha, the managing director of the Healthy People & Thriving Communities Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement.

The White House on Monday will unveil its long-awaited $1.5 trillion infrastructure package aimed at overhauling U.S. public works.

A White House official said the president's FY 2019 budget request will be based on economic growth assumptions of 3.2 percent in 2019, 3 percent in 2021 and 2.8 percent in 2026.

The US$1.5 trillion will come from a range of incentives and instruments in which government funding will play a lesser role than they do now, instead being used to match and leverage local funding.

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"It could be anything", an administration official said of the non-federal funding sources.

The block grants would allot $20 billion for "transformative programmes" meant for new projects rather than rehabilitation of old infrastructure.

The proposal also calls for US$50 billion for rural infrastructure, with states' governors to be given more latitude to decide on priorities.

Half the money would go to grants for transportation, water, flood control, cleanup at some of the country's most polluted sites and other projects.

Trump also wants to speed up projects by limiting the environmental permitting process to two years.

The second way the White House says the system is broken is in the lengthy federal permitting process, which officials say can take five to 10 years or longer, driving up costs. "But when you look at $300 billion over a 10-year period, you know it makes even a drunken sailor blush". Lawmakers still have to flesh out how that money will be spent in the next few weeks, but it's unclear whether they'll be able to reflect the changes sought by Trump for his infrastructure plan as they do so. The administrations calls the concept "one agency, one decision" and proposes a single timeline for all relevant federal permitting agencies directed by a lead agency.

In a separate interview on "Fox News Sunday", Mulvaney said that the budget proposal Trump is set to release Monday would contain money for his controversial wall along the U.S. -Mexico border.

This plan is one of the president's biggest campaign promises. "What we're saying to states is, we would like you to increase your investment in infrastructure". Finally, the administration plan asks that Congress spend $10 billion on a capital financing fund. Gribbin said the White House is open to that idea, but hasn't ruled anything out. Officials said the $200 billion in federal support would come from cuts to existing programs. A growing number of Republican congressional leaders have called for spending and regulatory reforms to welfare programs and Medicare and Medicaid, critics say those cuts could be used to fund their tax and infrastructure programs.

In its background briefing, the White House said that its budget would include cuts to many programs, none of which could be tied directly to the $200 billion increase for its infrastructure program.

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