President Trump is planning to announce a massive $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan Monday, unveiling the administration's long-awaited proposal aimed at rebuilding the nation's dilapidated roads, bridges and other components that have fallen into disrepair.
Mr. Trump will propose spending $200 billion over 10 years, most in the form of new, competitive grants created to encourage states and cities to raise their own money for improving rails, airports, highways and water systems.
It also lays out plans to bolster rural infrastructure and lend federal funds for "transformative" projects that are unable to find backers in the private sector due to the "uniqueness of the program". The final $10 billion will go towards a "capital financing fund" that will fund office-building infrastructure the federal government is already building. "We're pretty agnostic to the way they raise revenue".
But irate conservatives pointed to projections that the increased spending puts the government on track to hit a $1.2 trillion deficit in 2019 and to record trillion-dollar-plus deficits far into the future. States have gradually assumed more of the responsibility for funding infrastructure in recent years, and the White House says it wants to accelerate that trend. Fifty billion will be directed towards improvements exclusively in rural infrastructure in the form of block grants to state governors, allowing them to select what projects to direct the funding towards.
Trump on Friday signed a bipartisan $400 billion spending bill that will benefit the military and generate "jobs, jobs, jobs", but that could also create a projected deficit of $1.2 trillion in 2019 and higher in the coming years.
The largest single piece of the White House plan is a proposed $100 billion that would be made available to states and municipalities in the form of matching funds for infrastructure projects, according to White House officials who spoke to the press on background over the weekend.
The White House maintains that an 80 percent match is just a suggestion, not a requirement. Another $20 billion would go to expanding current loan programs for public-private partnerships. A growing number of Republican congressional leaders have called for spending and regulatory reforms to welfare programs and Medicare and Medicaid, critics say those cuts could be used to fund their tax and infrastructure programs. Federal funding would be capped at 20 percent of the overall cost of any given project, however, leaving cities and states responsible for raising the other 80 percent.
The plan also aims to invest in rural infrastructure and something that doesn't directly relate to brick-and-mortar infrastructure - workforce training.
Senior White House officials and President Trump are expected to tour the country to explain and advocate for their plan.