February 6, 2018 / 4:33 PM / 6 months ago

Trump to unveil infrastructure plan Monday - White House official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump plans to unveil details of his long-awaited plan to generate at least $1.5 trillion in infrastructure improvements over 10 years next Monday, a White House official said on Tuesday.

U.S. President Donald Trump gestures as he walks on South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., before his departure to the Customs and Border Protection National Targeting Center, February 2, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Trump will issue “infrastructure principles, which will outline a plan” to boost infrastructure and call for cutting regulatory burdens to speed approval for new projects, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Reuters reported this month that the administration’s plan will call for $200 billion in new federal funding, offset by unspecified spending cuts, including $100 billion in cost-sharing payments for state and local projects and $50 billion dedicated for rural projects.

The remaining $50 billion will be largely split among “transformative” projects such as high-speed trains and funds for federal transportation lending projects, Reuters reported last month.

The White House separately plans to unveil its budget proposal on Monday as well, the official said.

Last month, White House official D.J. Gribbin confirmed in remarks to mayors the administration will not seek new revenue to pay for infrastructure, but rather seek to pay for it with spending cuts.

Trump last week called on Congress “to produce a bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion for the new infrastructure investment we need. Every federal dollar should be leveraged by partnering with state and local governments and, where appropriate, tapping into private-sector investment.”

The proposal will also aim to streamline environmental reviews and make it easier to build highways and other projects and allow for new tolling on roadways and give states more flexibility to use toll revenue.

A leaked document released last month, which an administration official confirmed was “largely accurate,” disclosed the administration plans to reduce federal cost-sharing for projects to no more than 20 percent of the costs from the traditional 80 percent share.

Democrats want the Trump administration to agree to significant new spending to pay for infrastructure upgrades and have called the smaller cost-sharing proposal a non-starter.

Representative Peter DeFazio, the top Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said last week Trump should not call for “slashing real investments to states and local governments, pushing the responsibility off federal balance sheets, cutting existing transportation programs to pay for Wall Street and foreign investors to toll our roads.”

Reporting by David Shepardson Editing by Jonathan Oatis

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