Trump to focus on infrastructure agenda in week ahead

Trump's proposal does not lay out how to fund any of the $200 billion in construction development. His actual 2018 budget proposal allocates only $5 billion for the effort for fiscal-year 2018.
By Joyce Clark | Jun 04, 2017
President Trump plans to make a pitch next week on his agenda for boosting infrastructure across the United States. His vision calls for spending up to $1 trillion nationwide to not only upgrade bridges and highways, but also rewrite scores of federal statutes such as those governing the national air-traffic control system, as well as the protocols for issuing federal permits for road projects.

The White House submitted a six-page fact sheet on Trump's infrastructure agenda into its 2018 budget proposal last month. According to the fact sheet, Trump intends to mix increased spending for construction with cutting spending for the government agencies that oversee infrastructure and construction policies. The fact sheet called for $200 billion in direct federal funds over the next 10 years for bridges, roads, tunnels, and expanding broadband. Coupled with this are incentives to encourage states to erase regulations, as well as proposals to remove air-traffic control operations from the purview of the Federal Aviation Administration and to more broadly "divest" the federal government from certain transportation functions.

Trump's proposal does not lay out how to fund any of the $200 billion in construction development. His actual 2018 budget proposal allocates only $5 billion for the effort for fiscal-year 2018.

Democrats panned the proposal for this lack of funding and for its strict curtailing of federal oversight authority. Oregon Rep. Peter DeFazio, ranking Democrat on the Transportation Committee, denounced it for "pushing the responsibility off federal balance sheets and replacing it with unidentified incentives for Wall Street investors to invest in transportation."

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