Trump’s 2019 budget to outline formula for major infrastructure plan

Trump's 2019 budget to outline formula for major infrastructure plan
UPI

Feb. 12 (UPI) — President Donald Trump is set to unveil his long-awaited $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan Monday, which will be spurred by his blueprint for the 2019 budget.

The budget proposal, Trump’s second since taking office, will include significant funding for infrastructure, border security and combating the opioid epidemic, the White House said.

The proposal will be unveiled by Office and Management Director Mick Mulvaney at 11:30 a.m. Monday, when it will be sent to Congress. It will include increased caps on military and domestic spending, designed to win support of Senate Democrats.

The White House offered some details of the budget — which includes a plan to repair and replace U.S. infrastructure like highways, bridges and airports by committing $200 billion in federal funding during the next decade to stimulate state spending and private investment.

Half the federal funds will be used as incentives to persuade local governments to raise at least 80 percent of the needed spending. Infrastructure programs typically rely on federal funding for 80 percent of the cost. The new budget would reverse the percentages.

About one-quarter of the federal infrastructure expenditure will go toward rural needs, to be determined by each state. Another $20 billion is reserved for “transformative” projects.

Much of the $200 billion will be found in cuts to federal transit programs and to the Department of Transportation’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant program, which offers funding based on the needs of applying communities.

Trump’s budget also includes $23 billion for border security and immigration enforcement, including the construction of a wall, and $17 billion for fighting the opioid epidemic.

Mulvaney said Sunday, “We’re going to show how you can run the government without spending all of it.”

Trump will outline some of the budget details in White House meetings with mayors and other local leaders on Monday. White House officials said there will be room for compromise with the Senate. Since 60 Senate votes will be required for approval, the budget will need some Democratic support.

“This is the start of a negotiation,” a senior administration official said. “We want it to be bipartisan.”

The budget assumes continued three percent growth in the United States’ gross domestic product in the coming decade. That figure is more optimistic than many economists’ projections. The U.S. economy grew at a 2.5 percent pace in 2017.

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