Trump aims to boost America’s infrastructure, releases $1.5 trillion proposal
On Jan. 30, President Trump delivered his first State of the Union address. The president used the address as an opportunity to speak about his efforts related to infrastructure and the economy, citing infrastructure as one possible policy area that would bring Republicans and Democrats together. President Trump called for a $1.5 trillion infrastructure proposal to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure, including roads, bridges, and transit systems in addition to other non-transportation infrastructure projects.
Although the president stated that he asked, “both parties to come together to give us the safe, fast, reliable, and modern infrastructure our economy needs, and our people deserve,” there were no specific comments addressing roadway safety or the funding mechanisms used to pay for the proposal.
On Feb. 12, 2018, nearly two weeks after Trump delivered his address to Congress, the White House released its framework for rebuilding infrastructure in the United States, entitled “Legislative Outline for Rebuilding Infrastructure in America.” The $1.5 trillion initiative will provide $200 billion in federal investments for his plan over the next ten years. The additional $1.3 trillion is expected to come from states, cities, and private investment.
Of the $200 billion coming from the federal government, $100 billion would be allocated to a competitive incentive program in which states and localities can apply for federal funding, $20 billion would add to existing federal loan programs for infrastructure and broaden eligibility for tax-exempt private activity bonds, $50 billion would be reserved for projects in rural parts of the country, which would go to states in the form of block grants, $10 billion would be reserved to set up a “capital financing fund,” and other monies would be centered on workforce training.
The administration’s proposal specifically addresses funding and financing, infrastructure permitting, and workforce development. Similar to President Trump’s State of the Union address, the framework does not directly address roadway safety; however, public safety is addressed broadly. ATSSA staff will continue to work with Congress as they develop legislation to ensure that roadway safety is part of the focus of the final infrastructure package.
Want to learn more about the infrastructure proposal? Tune in to the ATSSA Facebook Live stream on Feb. 13 at 1 p.m. Eastern time.