In January, the Trump administration is expected to release an infrastructure proposal to members of Congress to use as the foundation for drafting legislation.
According to the Washington Examiner, the White House is compiling an approximately 70-page plan which it will offer as a guideline to Congress.
Earlier this month, President Donald Trump met with senior administration officials and House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster, R-Pa., to discuss the proposal.
“The meeting with the president was encouraging and very productive,” Shuster said in a statement. “He’s a builder — he gets the importance of infrastructure and why it matters for jobs and the economy. Addressing our nation’s infrastructure in a bipartisan manner is going to take strong presidential leadership, and I believe we have a president who can provide the necessary leadership and who wants to rebuild our infrastructure to strengthen our economy.”
During his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump pledged to deliver a $1 trillion infrastructure plan aimed at improving U.S. roads, bridges, airports, and other public works.
Despite the need for improvements, there are questions regarding the funding of Trump’s plan.
“The cost is going to be an issue, that’s going to be a large topic of debate,” a senior committee aide told the Washington Examiner.
In the spring, the Trump administration called for investing $200 billion in direct federal spending over the next 10 years, which was intended to trigger $800 billion in spending by states, localities and private investors.
Michael Sargent, the transportation and infrastructure policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation, said, “I think the biggest sticking point will be funding, paying for the plan. Where does this $200 billion come from?”
Senior committee aides noted that Shuster is open to bipartisan funding solutions, assuming that an infrastructure plan could garner support from Republicans and Democrats.
Frederick Hill, a spokesperson for the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, said infrastructure is usually a bipartisan issue because it affects and benefits everyone.
“The White House is going to have to try to compose a way to meet various needs,” he said.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., have previously expressed interest in working with the Trump administration on an infrastructure plan, but partisan battles in 2017, over issues such as healthcare and tax reform, now have Democrat support in question.
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