Despite the strong support of President Trump, the future of a sweeping federal infrastructure bill appears to be in doubt due to a lack of Congressional support.
In February, Trump urged Congress to pass a $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan designed to fund highway, airport and port facility upgrades over a ten-year period.
But the proposal, which broke with traditional transportation funding approaches by calling for a greater use of private capital, has not seen significant movement on Capitol Hill.
“We’re going to continue to look at ways to improve the nation’s infrastructure,” remarked White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.
But Sanders added that “in terms of a specific piece of legislation, I’m not aware that that will happen by the end of the year.”
The Trump proposal called for $200 billion in direct federal funding, out of which $100 billion could be drawn upon for a state and local government incentives program, with an additional $50 billion going for block grants to governors.
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, in remarks kicking off annual Infrastructure Week events in Washington, said the administration was still behind the bill, despite the criticism of some members of Congress regarding, in particular, the private funding mechanism.
“We’re not used to tapping the private sector for public infrastructure,” said Chao, “and that’s really ironic, given that we have the biggest capital market of any place in the world.”
By Garry Boulard
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