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Trump Outlines New Infrastructure Funding Plan


President Donald Trump has outlined a new $1 trillion plan for spending on roads, rails, water systems and other infrastructure. This time, the president is proposing to rely fully on federal spending. 

That fundamental change from his first plan drew praise from some state transportation officials and industry groups, even though Trump doesn’t spell out how to pay for it all.

Trump’s new plan takes a more traditional Washington approach. He proposes $810 billion through a 10-year reauthorization of the surface transportation program, which provides funding for roads, bridges, rails, public transit and transportation safety programs and is set to expire at the end of September.

He adds $190 billion in one-time grants, including $60 billion for “mega-projects” that could include everything from roads to dams to high-speed internet networks. Other grants would be devoted to freight systems, bridges, public transit and rural projects. But no specific examples of potential projects are listed.

The request says the 10-year bill will be funded with contract authority, but that’s not spendable money – it’s a budgetary tool that allows states or agencies to enter into binding contracts, which the federal government promises to pay back later, usually through appropriated money

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) who chairs the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said he was encouraged that Trump’s budget “signals he is interested in at least talking about the need to invest in our nation’s crumbling infrastructure.”