Just like Trump promised during his State of the Union address late last month, the White House has released an infrastructure package Monday that hopes to raise $1.5 trillion to help rebuild American roads, bridges and airports.
Since the initial draft was leaked last month, Trump has raised his fundraising goal to $1.5 trillion from $1 trillion.
Most of the 55-page plan’s most salient details were leaked overnight.
At its core, the proposal will use the $200 billion, to be disbursed over a decade, as seed money to incentivize states, localities and the private sector to commit to spending the balance of the headline number…
It will also streamline the permitting process and improve training to get qualified workers ready to work on rural infrastructure projects…
However, Democrats have complained the plan relies too heavily on municipalities and states, and doesn’t provide enough federal funding to have much of an impact. Some have described it as a “bait-and-switch” since it’s unclear if the White House will be able to raise the headline number.
The White House’s updated proposal was released Monday ahead of an 11 am meeting between Trump and mayors of cities and other l The $200 billion in federal spending will also be included in the White House’s budget map, also to be released Monday, following a bipartisan deal last week that eliminated years-old spending caps, setting the stage for a two-year budget agreement.
And as CBS points out, Trump’s plan leaves a little something to be desired…
But there’s one major hole in the White House’s proposal — Mr. Trump’s plan relies almost entirely on funding from entities outside the control of the federal government. Only $200 billion of the $1.5 trillion proposal would come from new federal funding. The White House would offset the new spending with unspecified cuts in other areas of the budget. The rest is expected to come from state and local governments and private investment.
According to the Washington Post, the plan has plenty of details (unlike the early drafts of Trump’s tax-reform package) but few guarantees about how it will all be paid for. In one particularly galling section, it even suggests cutting money from existing infrastructure plans and reallocating it to the Trump plan.
For now, the White House is suggesting that lawmakers cut money from elsewhere in the budget, including some existing infrastructure programs. That prospect seems unlikely given that Congress just last week reached a bipartisan deal to spend significantly more funds over the coming two years.
Per Politico, the plan is a statement of principles that Congress will have to translate into legislation, potentially leaving the fate of Trump’s proposal in the hands of 11 House and Senate committees that oversee slices of the policies in play. The kickoff will include a Monday briefing with state and local officials.
While light on federal money the proposal “could inspire a wave of toll roads, ease decades-old regulations and permanently change cities’ and states’ expectations for assistance from Washington. …
Some critics have also blasted the plan’s lack of funding to rebuild the tunnels beneath the Hudson River used to ferry commuters from New Jersey to New York City’s Penn Station.
Several lawmakers said they don’t expect the plan to pass in its current form since it would need 60 votes to clear the Senate. Without more commitments of federal funding, the plan is likely “dead on arrival”, one lawmaker said.