White House briefs state, local officials on Trump’s infrastructure plan

White House briefs state, local officials on Trump’s infrastructure plan
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President Trump’s infrastructure package will be broken up into three pieces, with the largest chunk of funding dedicated to projects that already have some private or local money secured, the administration told state and local officials on Wednesday.

“We’re looking at breaking this up into pieces,” Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyBudget chief: Trump won't sign GOP tax plan 'if our numbers show' middle class will pay more Live coverage: Day two of the Ways and Means GOP tax bill markup West Coast Dems lead call to fund early warning system for earthquakes MORE, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, said at a White House event. “The largest piece of the package is going to be wrapped around incentives.”

The administration hosted an infrastructure meeting at the White House to brief around 150 state, local and tribal leaders on Trump’s rebuilding initiative, which has yet to be finalized.

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Trump unveiled a broad set of infrastructure principles in his budget request this spring. A more detailed legislative proposal was expected to be released this fall, though the timing could slip as the GOP tries to tackle other priorities like tax reform.

Mulvaney, Transportation Secretary Elaine ChaoElaine Lan ChaoDrone industry will take off under new Trump administration policy Overnight Tech: Feds to update driverless car rules | Senate panel threatened ex-Yahoo chief with subpoena | Sessions rips encryption | Tech groups sign DACA legal brief | What to know about tech's Russia hearings Overnight Regulation: Trump pick for USDA job withdraws amid Mueller scrutiny | Powell tapped for Fed | Female GOP lawmakers offer paid leave plan | Feds launch program for drone deliveries MORE and other senior members of Trump’s infrastructure team were all on hand Wednesday to provide updates about the proposal and to hear input from local officials.

“This administration wants to be your partner in repairing and revitalizing our country’s critical infrastructure,” Chao said. “The goal is to create a framework for infrastructure renewal that is more flexible and adaptable to the unique needs of your communities.”

Mulvaney said the legislation will likely consist of three major components, starting with an emphasis on providing money for projects that already have some level of local or private funding.

The goal is to use $200 billion in federal funding to leverage about $1 trillion worth of overall infrastructure investment. To do that, the administration will prioritize federal funding for projects that already have significant revenue secured, either from local sources or the private sector.

An example would be a project that is close to being complete, but could use an injection of federal resources to help “get it over the edge,” Mulvaney said.

Incentives may also be provided to encourage state and local transportation agencies to sell off under-used public assets to the private sector.

The second piece of Trump’s infrastructure bill will focus on rural areas, as the White House recognizes that rural projects may not always be good candidates for the private financing model.

“We’re talking about targeting some of the money just for rural projects,” Mulvaney said. “A lot of the loans programs we have in place work.”

The rest of the money in the proposal will be funneled towards the “transformative stuff,” such as new ways of building roads, tunnels and bridges, Mulvaney said.

“The president is very interested in trying to find that transformative, infrastructure technology, that is this close to being ready for market,” he said. “The one everybody keeps talking about is Hyperloop.”