Trump Budget Proposal Lays Foundation for Infrastructure Investment

The Trump Administration laid out its vision for a $1 trillion infrastructure package in his budget request, according to The Hill, offering the first real glimpse of the highly anticipated plan.

The White House spending proposal would “provide an infrastructure plan to support $1 trillion in private/public infrastructure investment” – one of Trump’s chief campaign promises.

The rebuilding plan, according to the budget, would inject $200 billion into transportation projects over 10 years, with the goal of creating $1 trillion worth of overall investment.

The spending document says the administration would meet its $1 trillion target through a mix of new federal funding, incentives for private sector investment and expedited projects that “would not have happened but for the administration’s involvement.”

The proposal will rely on four key approaches: 

  • Leveraging private sector investment.
  • Ensuring federal dollars are targeted toward transformative projects.
  • Shifting more services and underused capital assets to the private sector.
  • Giving states and localities more flexibility.

The package would also aim to speed up project delivery by eliminating or reforming regulations that can slow down projects. A fact sheet from the White House called the current environmental review and permitting process “fragmented, inefficient and unpredictable.”

The White House plans to pursue several other proposals within the infrastructure initiative, according to the fact sheet. This includes expanding the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program to $1 billion every year and expanding program eligibility; reducing tolling restrictions on existing interstate highways; allowing private investors to construct and maintain rest stops; encouraging programs that explore innovative ways to reduce traffic; and lifting the $15 billion cap on Private Activity Bonds.

The White House also wants to create a mandatory revolving fund to help finance federally owned civilian capital assets and establish partnership grants for federal assets.

In addition to the $200 billion for infrastructure, Trump’s budget includes several other transportation-related reforms. Overall, it would cut the Department of Transportation’s discretionary budget by nearly 13 percent, to $16.2 billion.

Trump’s massive rebuilding plan is expected to target a wide range of infrastructure projects, including veterans hospitals. The White House budget summary says “future reforms will encourage public-private partnerships” at the VA.

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