WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is unveiling his long-awaited infrastructure plan, a $1.5 trillion proposal that fulfills a number of his campaign goals. But it relies heavily on state and local governments to produce much of the funding.
The administration’s plan is centered on using $200 billion in federal money to leverage local and state tax dollars to fix America’s infrastructure, such as roads, highways, ports and airports.
Trump has repeatedly blamed the “crumbling” state of the nation’s roads and highways for preventing the American economy from reaching its full potential. Many in Washington believe that Trump should have begun his term a year ago with an infrastructure push, one that could have garnered bipartisan support or, at minimum, placed Democrats in a bind for opposing a popular political measure.
As it stands, the plan is receiving a frosty response from Democratic members of Congress.
The president’s plan would use $200 billion in federal money to leverage local and state investments. It also would change the permitting process to get projects underway more quickly.
The plan calls for possibly selling two of the three major airports serving the nation’s capital — Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Dulles International Airport. Trump is also citing two major roadways in the Washington D.C. region that could be sold: the George Washington Memorial and Baltimore-Washington parkways.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., says the president’s plan would raise tolls on commuters, increase the burden on cities and states, and sell essential infrastructure to the whims of Wall Street.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., says Trump’s plan would put unsustainable burdens on local government and calls it a “plan to appease his political allies, not to rebuild the country.”
Democrats have proposed an infrastructure plan that would entail $1 trillion in additional federal spending to jumpstart new projects around the country.
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