Trump Ready to Roll Out $1.5T Infrastructure Plan

Critics say it doesn't include enough federal cash
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2018 5:21 AM CST
Updated Feb 12, 2018 5:35 AM CST
A man works on the southern Nevada portion of US Interstate 11 near Boulder City, Nev.   (AP Photo/John Locher, File)
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(Newser) – Both parties agree that America's infrastructure is in need of some serious work after decades of under-investment, but the $1.5 trillion plan President Trump plans to roll out Monday is still expected to be controversial—especially because of disagreements over where the $1.5 trillion is supposed to come from. The plan involves around $200 billion in federal funding over 10 years, to be taken from cuts to other programs, including $100 billion in incentives to state and local governments to stimulate spending on infrastructure such as highways, ports, and airports, reports Reuters. Democrats had sought greater federal funding and new revenue, possibly through a hike in the gas tax, though White House aides say the Trump plan is just the starting point for negotiations.

The proposal requires cities, counties, and states to put up at least 80% of a project's cost themselves before they can get 20% federal funding, which reverses the 80-20 federal-state funding split in place for many highways, NPR reports. The federal funding to be announced Monday also includes around $50 billion toward rural infrastructure projects. Jay Timmons, president of the National Association of Manufacturers, praised the proposals, the AP reports. "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," he said. "There is no excuse for inaction." Critics, however, said the plan needs more federal investment—and called moves to speed the approval process, including reducing environmental reviews, a "corporate giveaway." (Read more infrastructure stories.)

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