President Trump released his plan for how he intends for the country to rebuild its aging infrastructure. He did so at the White House on Monday (February 12, 2018) to dozens of mayors from across the country, including Mayor Betsy Price, City of Fort Worth. The White House plan would create $1.5 trillion for repairs and upgrades, of which $200 billion would come from direct federal spending. The remainder would be leveraged from states and local governments, which would be required to match any federal allocation. Although the $200 billion would not be new revenue (offset by cuts elsewhere), President Trump has indicated that he is open to new revenue sources.
The plan proposes to spend federal money in the following manner:
- $100 billion for incentives to local government entities through competitive grants with preference given to applicants that raise revenue such as taxes, fees or tolls;
- $20 billion would be spent on “bold, innovative, and transformative infrastructure projects that could dramatically improve infrastructure”;
- $50 billion for rural block grants for transportation, broadband, water, and wastewater;
- $20 billion to boost federal lending programs and private activity bonds used to attract private investment; and
- $10 billion for a capital financing fund for federal infrastructure.
The President’s plan includes expedited and streamlined permitting as well as a process for consolidating reviews conducted by different agencies into a single decision maker for specific projects. The plan would also authorize the federal government to more easily divest of assets that would be better managed by state, local, or private entities.
Enactment of any provisions of the President’s plan, including funding mechanisms, is contingent upon Congressional approval of legislation.