Trump teases 'big' infrastructure announcement in speech

Trump teases 'big' infrastructure announcement in speech
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President Trump hinted that he will be making a “big” announcement on infrastructure during his joint address to Congress on Tuesday.

“We’re going to make it easier for states to address their infrastructure, and I’m going to have a big statement tomorrow night on infrastructure,” Trump told governors visiting the White House on Monday. “We’re going to start spending on infrastructure big.”

The governors are in Washington for their annual winter meeting and met with Trump to talk about a variety of issues. Infrastructure has been a top priority for both the new administration and cash-strapped states, and the National Governors Association was tasked with compiling a list of potential projects for the White House to consider, including in a rebuilding package.

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But although Trump has long talked about the need to repair crumbling U.S. roads, bridges and highways, he has yet to map out his ideas in detail. Trump's speech could offer the first real glimpse into his infrastructure plans.

So far, the only hints about how the administration intends to tackle the issue have come from a white paper that was floated on the campaign trail. That blueprint would offer $137 billion in federal tax credits to private companies that back transportation projects.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean a legislative proposal is soon to follow. Axios reported last week that the administration and Republican leaders are considering punting on an infrastructure package until 2018, in an effort to give Congress more breathing room to address other GOP priorities this year.

Trump, however, emphasized Monday that fixing the country’s infrastructure remains an urgent priority for him.

“And it’s not like we have a choice. It’s not like, ‘Oh gee, let's hold it off,’ ” Trump said. “Our highways, our bridges are unsafe. We have tunnels in New York where the tiles on the ceiling, you see many tiles missing … and you see all this loose material that’s heavy.”

“Every time I drive through, I wonder how many people are hurt or injured when they are driving 40 or 50 mph an hour and a tile falls off?” he added.