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AASHTO Journal

Trump: Infrastructure Plan ‘Coming Fast’

President Trump continued to promise that his administration will propose a major infrastructure investment plan, and told workers at a tool factory in Kenosha, Wis., that the plan is "coming fast."

Some lawmakers and policy commentators have speculated that the Trump administration might put off unveiling an investment package until after changes in health care and tax policies free up new funding sources that could help foot the bill for improving transportation and other infrastructure. Some have said it could still be months away.

capitol0816.jpgHowever, Trump emphasized that his administration is moving quickly on an infrastructure plan, and gave examples of transportation facilities it will benefit while the increased military spending produces ships and airplanes.

His remarks also came as the U.S. Department of Transportation moved to install officials in new high-level positions to oversee USDOT efforts on infrastructure investments and modernizing the Federal Aviation Administration. (See story in Nation's section.) 

"We'll be making big investments in rebuilding our military and repairing our badly depleted infrastructure," Trump said as part of an April 18 speech at the Snap-On Tools factory in Kenosha. "And that will happen soon also – infrastructure."

He added that "new ships, bridges, tunnels and airplanes will be constructed with American hands, American steel, and, yes, American tools."

While not offering details of when the investment plan will come or what it will include, Trump reiterated that it will be a "big infrastructure bill."

He also said his administration would probably pair it with another legislative goal – "with something else that's a little bit harder to get approved, in order to get that approved. But infrastructure is coming, and it's coming fast."

Trump's budget director, Mick Mulvaney, provided a few details April 21 at an Institute of International Finance event.

As Politico reported, Mulvaney said that when the administration unveils the president's full fiscal 2018 budget proposal it could include $200 billion for infrastructure investment, "with the understanding that there would be a five-to-one sort of leverage ratio on that" of nonfederal investment.

Asked if the administration would count the value of changes to infrastructure-project regulations toward its $1 trillion investment goal, Mulvaney said: "No, the president is interested in putting a trillion dollars worth of work on the ground . . . We don't fudge that number."

The Politico report noted that the full 2018 budget proposal is slated for release next month, and that Mulvaney said he doesn't believe "you'll actually start to see specific things to be able to, say, vote on until the fall."

4/21/2017
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