Trump unveils massive infrastructure plan

Washington, Feb 13 (IANS) US President Donald Trump released a long-promised $1.5 trillion infrastructure initiative on Monday, aiming to rebuild the nation’s outdated roads, railways and other public works.

The 53-page document detailed Trump’s plans of how to fund the investments, shorten project permitting time, remove regulatory barriers, help rural areas and improve worker training, Xinhua reported.

“Our Nation’s infrastructure is in an unacceptable state of disrepair, which damages our country’s competitiveness and our citizens’ quality of life,” Trump was quoted as saying.

Trump ran for president in 2016 on the promise of a $1 trillion 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. “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 in the next 10 years to spur another $1.3 trillion 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.

As for the $200 billion, 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.

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