White House releases 55-page, $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan

The White House on Monday officially released a 55-page proposal for President TrumpDonald John TrumpSasse: Trump shouldn't dignify Putin with Helsinki summit Top LGBT group projects message onto Presidential Palace in Helsinki ahead of Trump-Putin summit Hillary Clinton to Trump ahead of Putin summit: 'Do you know which team you play for?' MORE's long-awaited infrastructure overhaul.

The plan puts forth a framework for lawmakers to craft legislation for a $1.5 trillion infrastructure package that would focus on public-private partnerships and funding from state and local governments.

The plan is structured around four main goals: generating $1.5 trillion for an infrastructure proposal, streamlining the permitting process down to two years, investing in rural infrastructure projects and advancing workforce training.

“My Administration’s plan addresses more than traditional infrastructure — like roads, bridges, and airports — but addresses other needs like drinking and wastewater systems, waterways, water resources, energy, rural infrastructure, public lands, veterans’ hospitals, and Brownfield and Superfund sites,” Trump said in the White House document.

“The reforms set forth in my plan will strengthen the economy, make our country more competitive, reduce the costs of goods and services for American families, and enable Americans to build their lives on top of the best infrastructure in the world.”

The federal government would contribute $200 billion to the package, a figure Democrats have already denounced as too small.

“After repeatedly failing to live up to his infrastructure promises, the release of Trump’s infrastructure plan today once again falls short,” the Democratic National Committee wrote in an email to reporters upon the proposal’s release.

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“Trump’s plan is just another giveaway to corporations and wealthy developers at the expense of American workers, and it fails to address some of the most pressing infrastructure needs our country faces.”

The administration said it used input from state and local officials, members of Congress, industry leaders and federal agencies to compile the framework.

The proposal confirms many previously leaked details about a White House rebuilding initiative, in which state and local governments, in addition to private investment, would foot much of the bill.

The plan is likely to face opposition from Democrats, who have already called for more direct federal investment; they released their own plan last week that boasted $1 trillion in government spending.

It's also sure to put the administration at odds with environmental groups, who worry that efforts to streamline permitting would hurt environmental protections.

The $200 billion will be included in the Trump administration's 2019 fiscal spending blueprint, which is also scheduled for release on Monday. 

Half of the federal seed money would go toward an incentive program to match financing from state and local governments investing in rebuilding projects, while a quarter of the appropriations would be used for rural projects in the form of block grants to states so governors may decide where to invest.

Twenty billion would be for “transformative programs” meant for new projects rather than rehabilitation of old infrastructure. Another $20 billion is allocated to expand the use of loans and private activity bonds, a common tool used to fund infrastructure projects. The last $10 billion would go into a "capital financing fund."

Trump will host key lawmakers from both parties at the White House on Wednesday to continue the infrastructure discussion, providing the administration a chance to convince those critical of the proposal.

Some industry groups, however, praised the administration for breathing life into a subject experts have spent years arguing must be addressed to fix the nation's crumbling roads, bridges, transit systems and other public works.

“For years, plenty of people have been willing to talk about modernizing our nation’s infrastructure, but few have been willing to take action. We applaud the Trump administration for laying out its vision for moving ahead on this critical issue,” Tom Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement ahead of the plan’s unveiling.

Updated at 11:20 a.m.