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Trump Unveils Long-Awaited Massive Infrastructure Plan
February 13th, 2018 | 10:10 AM | 120 views
U.S. President Donald Trump released a long-promised 1.5 trillion U.S. dollars infrastructure initiative on Monday, aiming to rebuild the nation's outdated roads, railways and other public works.
The 53-page document details Trump's plans of how to fund the investments, shorten project permitting time, remove regulatory barriers, help rural areas, and improve worker training.
"Our Nation's infrastructure is in an unacceptable state of disrepair, which damages our country's competitiveness and our citizens' quality of life," Trump said in a letter to the Congress.
Trump ran for president in 2016 on the promise of a 1-trillion-dollar infrastructure updating plan, and vowed to make it happen in his first 100 days in office. The plan, however, was delayed because of health care issue and a tax cut bill.
On Monday, Trump met with several governors and state and local officials at the White House to ratchet up support. As the federal government owns little infrastructure across the country, the Trump initiative handles decision making authority to state and local governments.
"This will be a big week for Infrastructure," Trump tweeted on Monday morning. "After so stupidly spending 7 trillion in the Middle East, it is now time to start investing in OUR Country!"
At the core of the plan is funding. The federal government will provide 200 billion dollars in the next 10 years to spur another 1.3 trillion dollars contributions from states and private investors, according to the initiative.
Analysts, however, doubted the feasibility of the ambitious plan, because for every dollar the federal government offers, other parties have to pay 6.5 dollars.
As for the 200 billion dollars, the White House said it will raise the money by cutting spending in other areas, including some transit and transportation funds it reckons as ineffective.
It will now be up to Congress to debate the infrastructure proposal. Trump urged the Congress to draft and pass the infrastructure bill. Such legislation would need 60 votes for passage in the Senate, while the Republicans only hold 51 seats.
"Trump's plan is just another giveaway to corporations and wealthy developers at the expense of American workers, and it fails to address some of the most pressing infrastructure needs our country faces," the Democratic National Committee said.
Trump's infrastructure plan comes on the heels of a 1.5 trillion tax cut bill and a budget deal that will increase federal spending by 300 billion dollars over the next two years.
Given that the U.S. fiscal deficit will balloon over 1 trillion dollars next year, Republicans have been wary of another big spending measure, further reducing the possibility of passing the bill this year.
courtesy of XINHUA NEWS AGENCY
by Xinhua News Agency
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