U.S. President Donald Trump is set to unveil his long-awaited plan to tackle the nation’s crumbling infrastructure Monday, and meets with state and local officials to discuss the initiative.
The plan aims to turn $200 billion in federal funds into a $1.5 trillion investment for fixing America’s roads, bridges, railways and other infrastructure.
The proposal relies heavily on state and local governments and the private sector to cover the costs for most of the projects.
“Every federal dollar should be leveraged by partnering with state and local governments, and where appropriate, tapping into private sector investment to permanently fix the infrastructure deficit,” Trump said at last month’s State of the Union address.
The $200 billion federal funds would come from cuts to existing programs. Of that, half would be spent on an incentive program to match funds from state and local governments.
About $50 billion would go toward rural projects in the form of block grants to states. Another $20 billion would be allocated to “transformative programs” meant for new and innovative projects. An additional $20 billion would go toward expanding loan programs and private activity bonds, and the final $10 billion would go into a “capital financing fund.”
The plan also seeks to shorten the time and expense of getting federal permits to no more than two years. Currently, the process can take five to 10 years.
“President Trump’s infrastructure proposal is a disaster,” said Shelley Poticha of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “It fails to offer the investment needed to bring our country into the 21st century. Even worse, his plan includes an unacceptable corporate giveaway by truncating environmental reviews.”
But Jay Timmons, president of the National Association of Manufacturers, praised Trump “for providing the leadership we have desperately needed to reclaim our rightful place as a global leader on true 21st-century infrastructure.”
On Monday, Trump will meet with key members of Congress, including heads of relevant committees, to discuss the plan.