Trump Set to Release 'Principles' for His Infrastructure Plan on Monday

Construction machinery knocks down a section of roadway in Atlanta, during April 2017.

Construction machinery knocks down a section of roadway in Atlanta, during April 2017. shutterstock

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The White House budget proposal for fiscal 2019 is due out the same day.

WASHINGTON — President Trump will release information about his long-anticipated infrastructure plan on Monday, Feb. 12, according to a White House official.

The president, the official said Tuesday, will unveil "principles" outlining plans for generating $1.5 trillion of investment and for speeding up project approvals so they take no longer than two years. The outline is expected to provide a starting point for future discussions about infrastructure legislation in Congress.

Next Monday is also when the White House plans to release its budget proposal for fiscal year 2019, but the infrastructure principles will be a separate document from the spending plan, the official said.

Administration officials have indicated previously that the White House public works plan will call for about $200 billion of direct federal spending over a decade, with the intent of spurring additional state, local and private investment.

It's currently unclear how Congress might come up with $200 billion for infrastructure, particularly in the wake of last year's GOP-backed tax overhaul, which is expected to increase federal deficits.

Trump in his State of the Union address on Jan. 30 stressed the need for "leveraging" state, local and private dollars for infrastructure.

Experts and state and local officials, however, have raised questions about whether it's realistic that states, localities and private investors will contribute enough money to reach Trump's overall spending goal.

Based on leaked documents and comments from administration officials, the White House plan is expected to feature a competitive grant program that would favor applicants who can bring the most money to the table, as well as special carve outs for rural areas and "transformative" projects considered to be groundbreaking and risky.

An adviser to Trump on infrastructure issues said late last month that the administration would not identify new sources of revenue in its initial proposal, and would seek to work with Congress to figure out how new infrastructure spending could be paid for.

The president has repeatedly highlighted infrastructure as one of his priorities, but his administration has not issued a detailed public works proposal since Trump took office a little over a year ago.

Bill Lucia is a Senior Reporter for Government Executive's Route Fifty and is based in Washington, D.C.

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