With tax reform passed and signed, the Trump administration is setting its sights on another major legislative priority for this year: infrastructure.
Unlike the tax cuts that were pushed through solely by Republican lawmakers, an infrastructure package is something Democrats and the GOP may actually find common ground on. Talk of an impending infrastructure bill blossomed after the leak of an apparent White House infrastructure plan surfaced in the media. Politico provided its contents in full online.
While the leaked document does not reference any specific dollar amount, it covers how almost all infrastructure funds would be spent, being directed to various programs to improve the country’s infrastructure.
The White House plan calls for placing 50 percent of any infrastructure funding into incentives for public-private partnerships on projects.
Twenty-five percent of appropriated funds would be allotted for boosting investment partnerships in rural communities — including improving water and electrical systems, broadband, transportation and freight movement in remote areas.
Ten percent of infrastructure funding would be directed toward advancing “transformative projects” based on “exploratory and ground-breaking ideas,” while seven percent would be appropriated to Federal Credit Programs.
Additionally, the plan calls for five percent of funding to be directed toward the Federal Capital Financing Fund in an effort to improve access to federal infrastructure loans.
The six-page draft, while incomplete, is a clear indicator of what President Donald Trump’s priorities are in terms of infrastructure spending and reform.
Trump has long argued for an infrastructure package to be passed in Congress, even arguing his case when following a major train derailment late last year.
Several people died in December when a high-speed Amtrak train derailed during the morning rush hour in DuPont, a small suburban town in Washington state outside of Tacoma.
The president’s comments regarding the deadly crash were just the latest in his push for an infrastructure overhaul in the U.S., having made the issue a major part of his 2016 presidential campaign.
Contrary to the GOP tax plan — where the bill pushed through Congress garnered a grand total of zero Democratic votes — an infrastructure package could be well received by members of the other party.
Even the president is confident that a bi-partisan plan can be reached.
While liberal lawmakers are currently battling the White House over DACA and calls for a massive southern border wall, Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill are outwardly receptive to the idea of a comprehensive infrastructure bill.
“We need a really robust investment in infrastructure by the government,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, according to The Hill. “We’re challenging the president — he talked about it in his campaign — to join us in this and if he does we’ll work with him.”
“It’s a challenge to the president. He ran on a campaign of a $1 trillion infrastructure bill,” Schumer continued.
“We Democrats have always believed in this.”
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