President Donald Trump on Monday will unveil a $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan targeted to fulfilling many of his campaign promises, especially one: America First.
The plan, which the administration is set to announce officially on Monday, also would cut the permitting process for new projects from ten years to two years and boost investment for projects in rural America — including transportation, broadband, water, waste, power, flood management and ports — by $50 billion in a bid to address criticism from some Republican senators that the Trump administration’s initial emphasis on public-private partnerships would do little to help rural, traditionally GOP-leaning states.
“This will be a big week for Infrastructure,” Trump tweeted Monday morning. “After so stupidly spending $7 trillion in the Middle East, it is now time to start investing in OUR Country!”
This will be a big week for Infrastructure. After so stupidly spending $7 trillion in the Middle East, it is now time to start investing in OUR Country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 12, 2018
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump pledged to tackle America’s crumbling roads and bridges, as well as to help fix transit systems and airports. In his first State of the Union address last month, Trump said: “Every federal dollar should be leveraged by partnering with state and local governments and – where appropriate – tapping into private sector investment to permanently fix the infrastructure deficit.”
Among the plans are more public-private partnerships and funding from state and local governments. “The federal government is slated pitch in $200 billion in direct investment, which will be included in the White House’s budget proposal for fiscal 2019, which is also set to be revealed on Monday,” The Hill reported.
Trump's infrastructure plan: What we know | https://t.co/6O2WZeKcsb
— Project Republic (@ProjectRepToday) February 12, 2018
“The plan is structured around four goals: generate $1.5 trillion for an infrastructure proposal, streamline the permitting process down to two years, invest in rural infrastructure projects and advance workforce training.”
As much as $50 billion would go toward rural projects, including improvements to transportation, broadband, water and sewer systems, as well as upgrades for power grids and flood management.
Trump may be listening to Sen. Rand Paul, whom he played golf with early in his term. Paul last month proposed slashing aid to Pakistan to help pay for an infrastructure proposal.
“Let’s bring that money home and use it to help rebuild our infrastructure instead of giving it to a nation that persecutes Christians and imprisons people such as the doctor that helped us get Osama bin Laden,” Paul said in January.
Jay Timmons, president of the National Association of Manufacturers, saluted Trump “for providing the leadership we have desperately needed to reclaim our rightful place as global leader on true 21st-century infrastructure.”
“When ports are clogged, trucks are delayed, power is down, water is shut off, or the internet has a lapse, modern manufacturers’ ability to compete is threatened and jobs are put at risk,” said Timmons. “There is no excuse for inaction, and manufacturers are committed to ensuring that America seizes this opportunity.”
But a number of Democrats and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have pushed the administration to commit far more federal dollars, funded by tax increases, or by closing tax loopholes. And environmental groups expressed worry about its impact.
“President Trump’s infrastructure proposal is a disaster,” said Shelley Poticha, of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “It fails to offer the investment needed to bring our country into the 21st century. Even worse, his plan includes an unacceptable corporate giveaway by truncating environmental reviews.”
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