The $200 billion infrastructure plan that President Donald Trump is to unveil Monday as part of his proposed 2019 budget would, as expected, force NY and New Jersey to scramble for private investors to fund the Gateway transit program.
A second major piece of the plan involves reforms to the federal permitting process, aimed at cutting the amount of time it takes for infrastructure projects to gain approval.
Of the other half of the $200 billion, $20 billion would be used to expand local programs, $50 billion would go toward funding rural infrastructure projects through block grants, $20 billion toward "transformative" programs and $10 billion to a capital financing fund. The infrastructure spending plan would need 60 votes to pass in the Senate so it will need democratic support, but the White House officials say this is one issue on which there should be room to compromise, because they say the president's infrastructure plan is in line with priorities and objectives outlined by members of both parties in Congress, even if not in the way it would be funded. Trump will work with Congress to make changes, if needed.
The Gateway project would cost about $30 billion to replace the Portal Bridge in New Jersey, build a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River and rebuild the existing deteriorating North River Tunnel that carries Amtrak trains between New Jersey and Penn Station. He called for sticking with the tradition of federal funding for infrastructure.
But the Trump administration has deemed the Obama agreement as "nonexistent".
"Following last week's congressional passage of a two-year spending plan, Mulvaney said the administration was also seeking "$21 billion to jumpstart key elements of the infrastructure initiative".
But there's one major hole in the White House's proposal, Mr. Trump's plan relies nearly entirely on funding from entities outside the control of the federal government. Another $20 billion would go to expanding current loan programs for public-private partnerships. "Washington picking and choosing what we think priorities ought to be for states and communities across the country", another senior White House official said.
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"So the way the incentive program works is, come with revenue and come with a project, and your score is higher based upon the share of non-federal revenue that you have in your project", the official said.
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) expressed doubt that Trump's plan could get Gateway project off the ground. The American Society of Civil Engineers said past year that the USA would need to invest $4.59 trillion by 2025 to improve the country's infrastructure.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi panned Trump's plan as "paltry".
A White House official said Saturday Trump is open to discussing a federal funding plan to help pay for the $30 billion in Gateway transit projects, which include a $13 billion Hudson River tunnel between NY and New Jersey, but he won't OK paying for half the costs.
New Jersey and NY politicians met with Trump in September to pitch him on the Gateway plan but didn't secure a funding guarantee.
Schumer said he's anxious Trump officials will say, 'Let the private sector do it.' " Schumer said. Democrats have criticized the $200 billion in federal spending in the past as insufficient compared to the needs facing the nation's roads, bridges and waterways.
DONALD Trump's administration will sketch out more details of its plan to invest in America's creaking infrastructure today, hoping it can leverage up to US$1.5 trillion (RM5.94 trillion) for the cause. The rest is expected to come from state and local governments and private investment.