Trump Makes Infrastructure Program a Priority Come January
One of the first plans on the Trump administration’s agenda in 2018 is moving forward with a massive infrastructure plan.
The program will be revealed by early next year and Marc Short, the White House’s legislative affairs director, said that Trump wants to ultimately reach a bipartisan deal.
“We plan to have principles for the Hill in January,” said an official to CNBC.
Democrats have been quick to criticize the recent GOP victories, like the tax plan. Democrats claim that the new tax plan won’t stimulate the funds needed to rebuild America’s roads, bridges and rail systems.
Although the Trump administration has focused on repealing the Affordable Care Act and overhauling the U.S. government tax system, infrastructure will be a priority in 2018.
The administration has plans to mix federal funds, along with contributions from both the local government and private sector.
“The approach now being contemplated is considered innovative by some infrastructure experts but also carries considerable political and economic risks for Trump,” writes the Washington Post.
But, Democrats want the federal government to provide more of the funding.
However, both Democrats and the GOP will need to find a compromise on where these funds will ultimately come from.
“There’s no doubt there is a pathway forward on this,” said Short to Fox News Sunday. “The big question is, will Democrats put politics aside and work with us?”
“As described by White House aides familiar with Trump’s initiative, additional federal funding would be available on a competitive basis for states and localities that submit plans outlining how they plan to raise new revenue dedicated to infrastructure,” writes the Washington Post. “Jurisdictions could raise their gas or sales tax rates, for example, or increase revenue flowing to infrastructure projects in a variety of other ways, such as imposing new tolls on roads or selling off existing assets to the private sector to generate money for new projects.”
But again, some Democrats will have to show support for this type of program. That’s why the plan includes incentives for localities to raise taxes. While this element of compromise may also be an issue for Republicans.
“We think Republicans will be in favor of ensuring that future infrastructure projects are fiscally responsible,” said an official to Washington Post.
“Gov. John Hickenlooper (Colo.), among the Democrats the White House has consulted as it pulls together a plan, said he agrees that local governments need to be willing to tax themselves “to be in the game” on infrastructure,” writes the Washington Post.
Hickenlooper believes that infrastructure is the one area where both parties can come to an agreement.
“If you can’t get it done on this, you’re really going to have a hard row to hoe,” said Hickenlooper.
Author’s note: Both parties agree that an infrastructure overhaul is needed, but where the funding will come from makes this complicated. This is a good play on Trump’s part, but the Democrats will have to come to the table on this one too.
Editor’s note: If the Democrats do not participate in this, it will go bad for them come the next elections. But if they do, they will have less to criticize come election time.