On Feb. 12, the White House rolled out its long-anticipated infrastructure proposal, Legislative Outline for Rebuilding Infrastructure in America. The president’s infrastructure plan is broken into four sections:
- Funding and Financing Infrastructure Improvements: This section provides details on new financing and incentive programs.
- Additional Provisions for Infrastructure Improvements: This section covers modernization efforts for highways, transit, rail, airports, waterways, and land revitalization (superfund reform).
- Infrastructure Permitting Improvement: This section calls for streamlining and shortening the approval process for projects to two years or less.
- Workforce Development: This section focuses on expanding access to workforce education and development programs.
The proposal aims to generate $1.5 trillion in new investments over a 10-year period. The federal government, however, would only provide $200 billion in direct spending — a sum that has left congressional Democrats unimpressed. The proposed $200 billion in federal spending is as follows:
- Infrastructure spending program – $100 billion
- Rural infrastructure program – $ 50 billion
- Transformative projects program – $20 billion
- Infrastructure financing programs – $20 billion
- Federal capital financial fund – $10 billion
It is unclear where the $200 billion would come from in the government coffer. Proposals to raise the federal gas tax have been floating around for years, but White House Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short said that the administration is not going to raise taxes to pay for its infrastructure plan. There’s no doubt that the administration will rely heavily on public-private partnerships as well as individual states to help finance the country’s infrastructure upgrades.
The president will welcome a bipartisan group of lawmakers to the White House on Feb. 14 to discuss the proposal.