White House to Roll Out Trump Infrastructure Plan

White House to Roll Out Trump Infrastructure Plan

"What that number represents is what do we think that state and local governments-how will they likely respond to this program", he said.

Instead, the White House wants to change how such projects are funded and approved to fix what officials call a broken system - raising questions about how Trump can secure a bipartisan deal and fulfill a central campaign pledge.

The senior White House official clarified that the administration meant to fund the $200 billion in spending from "savings from other areas of the federal budget", meaning cuts to other programs. And it will compete for lawmakers' attention with a battle royale over immigration and other issues.

"Stimulate $1.5 trillion in new investment and infrastructure ... shorted the permitting process into two years ... invest in rural infrastructure, and ... making improvements in training our workforce so Americans are prepared to take advantage of the jobs that will be created as we build out and improve our workforce."
Trump is open to new sources of funding, the official said.

If a local government is unable to raise the necessary funds for a much-needed infrastructure project, they would still have access to existing state revolving funds and the Highway Trust Fund but would likely be unable to participate in this new incentive program.

White House officials acknowledge the plan is just the opening salvo in the back-and-forth with Congress. Local government officials will be able to apply for federal infrastructure grants and matching funds so long as they can provide a large portion of the funding themselves.

"We're an important player and we want to continue to keep that role", DJ Gribbin, special assistant to the president for infrastructure policy, said in a January 25 presentation to the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington. "And the reason we went from a trillion to $1.5 trillion is because we've actually received a, sort of, more enthusiastic response than we anticipated from state and local governments".

According to civil engineer Henry Petroski, traffic congestion alone costs the United States US$120 billion per year.

The White House will release its infrastructure plan Monday morning, but even with a finalized blueprint, details on how the Trump administration intends to fund the program and turn a $200 billion investment into $1.5 trillion remain hazy.

The plan also aims to significantly shorten the environmental permitting process, which can take years of data-gathering and litigation, by giving one agency overall authority for each project to complete the process in 21 months and issue permits in three months, another senior White House official said.

Under Trump's plan, the federal government would spend $100 billion to match state and local funds for up to 20 percent of the cost of projects; offer $20 billion in loans; send $50 billion to states for rural work; set aside $20 billion for nonrepair projects that focus on modernization; and use $10 billion on capital financing.

The plan wouldn't directly fund major projects such as the $30 billion Gateway proposal that includes a new rail tunnel between New York City and New Jersey. He called for sticking with the tradition of federal funding for infrastructure.

"The way that we get to $1.5 trillion is we could be putting 10 percent or 20 percent in terms of the cost of that project".

"The president talks a big act but then he proposes a small bill", House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said at a press conference last week.

The administration official said the $200 billion in funding will be included in the president's budget request, also out Monday, and said the administration plans to "pay for the $200 billion out of savings from other areas of the federal budget". He backed a successful ballot measure in 2016 to raise his city's sales tax for pay for works projects.

The president signed an executive order in August establishing "one federal decision" for projects to eliminate duplication.

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