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Trump Introduces Infrastructure Plan

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After scoring a major legislative victory in tax reform, the Trump administration has set its sights on the next big policy campaign promise: infrastructure.

 

In a 53-page proposal included within the federal budget presented on Monday, February 12, the executive branch outlined its goals for infrastructure reform in the United States. The plan is designed to stimulate funding from state governments and the private sector instead of relying on federal funding for the majority of financing. In a statement released by the White House, the federal government will finance $200 billion toward the program to contribute to $1.5 trillion overall.

 

Major highlights of the program include taking steps to make the Federal Aviation Administration and Amtrak less reliant on the federal government and become more independent and state-run, respectively, according to the budget proposed by the Office of Management of Budget. Rural infrastructure, including broadband internet, would also be included. Notably, it would also include a new system of approving grants and infrastructure projects that would supposedly streamline the process and make obtaining approval for projects quicker.

 

Of all of the issues that Trump has made legislative priorities in his time in office, infrastructure would appear to be the one that could garner bipartisan support; there is a general consensus among the public that the nation’s infrastructure is crumbling, or at the very least is falling behind that of other developed nations. The recent accidents on Amtrak trains, such as the one near Seattle several weeks ago, have only increased this sentiment.

 

However, due to concerns over a possible rollback of environmental regulations and the allocation of funds away from Medicaid and Medicare to finance the infrastructure, some Democrats have already denounced the budget and the infrastructure plan that comes with it. Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) told CNN that the new budget “puts the burdens of deficit reduction on all the wrong places.”

 

Trump could also face opposition from the right for his proposed budget and infrastructure plan. It would not be outside the realm of possibility that deficit hawk Senators like Rand Paul and members of the House Freedom Caucus come out against the plan.

 

“I think stimulating the economy and trusting the free market to trusting the free market to handle this is better than spending trillions of taxpayer dollars on this,” said Lucas Raymond, Senior.

 

The details of the infrastructure plan are far from finalized. This is only the budget proposed to Congress by the President; it is likely to undergo several revisions by Senators and Representatives before it is ready to be presented to the President. Although the coming debate may be far off, it could be one that will be a new major defining issue in American politics.

 

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Trump Introduces Infrastructure Plan