White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced on Tuesday that President Donald Trump will donate his 2017 fourth-quarter salary to the Department of Transportation to help rebuild the nation’s infrastructure.
The pledge came the day after the Trump administration rolled out its $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan.
“To cure decades of neglect, we are committed to quickly building a safe, reliable and modern infrastructure to meet the needs of the American people and to fuel economic growth. And to help make this possible, we have a very special announcement today,” Sanders said during the daily news briefing.
“In keeping with his campaign pledge, the president donates his salary on a quarterly basis to further work being done on important projects. Most recently, the President donated his third-quarter salary to help the Department of Health and Human Services combat the opioid epidemic,” she added.
The president earns $400,000 per year, or $100,000 per quarter.
“Today, the president is proud to donate his fourth-quarter salary — 2017 salary to the Department of Transportation to support their programs to rebuild and modernize our crumbling infrastructure,” Sanders said.
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao accepted the donation at the White House briefing room. “Infrastructure is the backbone of our economy, and it’s key to keeping our country competitive,” Chao said. “The president’s proposal will create new jobs, strengthen our economy, and improve the quality of life for everyone.”
Trump stated on Wednesday that his administration’s infrastructure plan represents the “biggest and boldest infrastructure initiative in at least the last half-century.”
The $1.5 trillion dollar plan, which was released on Monday, calls for $200 billion to be spent by the federal government on infrastructure over the next 10 years.
The rest of the money would come through partnerships with state and local governments, as well as private entities.
One-quarter of the federal money — $50 billion — will be devoted to rural infrastructure projects.
The bulk of that money will be allocated to state governors to direct where it is most needed.
The spending on the federal level would begin in the fiscal year 2019 in the amount of $21 billion.
The Trump plan also calls for a streamlining of the permitting process to a two-year time window, instead of the current system, which can 10 or more years.
Trump stated on Monday, “We can’t give you money, and you’re going to take 15 years to get a permit.”
“In one state, it took 17 years for a basic roadway to get a permit, and the cost was many, many, many times what it was supposed to be. And we can’t have that,” he said.
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