President Trump today unveiled his much-anticipated infrastructure initiative, a $1.5 trillion proposal that aims to speed the completion of projects and return decision-making authority to local governments.
“We built the Empire State Building in just one year — is it not a disgrace that it can now take 10 years just to get a permit approved for a simple road?” Trump said during his Jan. 30 State of the Union Address.
Trump called for bi-partisan support for a plan to deliver the safe, reliable, and modern infrastructure that Americans deserve. The plan calls for:
- $200 billion in federal funds to spur at least $1.5 trillion in infrastructure investments with partners at the state, local, tribal and private level
- New investments in rural America
- A return of the decision-making authority to state and local governments
- The removal of regulatory barriers
- Permitting for infrastructure projects to be streamlined and shortened
“We will build gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways, and waterways all across our land,” Trump said in a statement. “And we will do it with American heart, and American hands, and American grit.”
The plan drew praise from the Association of American Railroads (AAR).
“The private freight rail industry commends the Trump administration for formally beginning the discussion on infrastructure legislation with this document today,” Edward R. Hamberger, president and CEO of the AAR, said in a statement. “The sector particularly welcomes the efforts to streamline the federal permitting processes, including in the proposal’s attempt to codify Executive Orders into law while also strengthening existing processes.
“At its core, however, the most important aspect to any such package remains the integrity of the Highway Trust Fund,” Hamberger added. “Policymakers should make every effort to return surface transportation funding to a truly equitable, user-pay system as originally designed.”