The South Asian Times

14 December 2018 10:36 AM

White House to unveil $1.5tn infrastructure plan

By IANS

Washington, Feb 12: The White House on Monday will unveil its long-awaited $1.5 trillion infrastructure package aimed at overhauling US public works.

The plan is structured around four goals: generate $1.5 trillion for an infrastructure proposal, streamline the permitting process down to two years, invest in rural infrastructure projects and advance workforce training, reports The Hill magazine.

The Trump administration confirmed a $200 billion direct federal investment for the package, which will be included in the White House's Monday spending blueprint for fiscal 2019.

Half of the federal seed money would go toward an incentive programme to match financing from state and local governments investing in rebuilding projects, while a quarter of the appropriations would be used for rural projects in the form of block grants to states so governors may decide where to invest.

The block grants would allot $20 billion for "transformative programmes" meant for new projects rather than rehabilitation of old infrastructure.

Another $20 billion is meant to expand the use of loans and private activity bonds, a common tool used to fund infrastructure projects. The last $10 billion would go into a "capital financing fund".

The allotted $200 billion comes from cuts within the impending White House budget, The Hill reported.

Meanwhile, the Democrats have already denounced the anticipated package, calling for increased direct federal investment to adequately address the nation's crumbling roads, bridges and other public works.

But the White House said the proposal was just the beginning of the negotiations.

The plan will fall under the purview of at least six House committees and five Senate committees, according to administration officials.

The delivery comes after several delays and amid questions over revenue sources for a proposal, for which Trump has provided varying numbers since his presidential campaign.

Update: 12 Feb, 2018

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