Earlier this month the congressional Problem Solvers Caucus made public a report that detailed suggestions for a future infrastructure plan. An article in The Hill calls it a bipartisan report put together by the caucus’ Infrastructure Working Group.
“Among the suggestions in the report is creating ‘a rural liaison’ for various federal agencies to help those areas seek funding. It also suggests that projects financed by the federal government should take a ‘Buy America’ approach to make sure US goods like steel and iron are used.”
At the time, lawmakers weren’t sure if the Trump Administration would be able to come up with an infrastructure package before the President’s State of the Union Address.
Reuters is now reporting that the Administration is “finalizing its long-awaited infrastructure plan.” The details of the plan most likely will not be available until after the State of the Union address, but it is said to have most of the financing for projects coming from private investments and state and local tax payers.
The article says, “Two people briefed on it said it would likely recommend dividing $200 billion in federal funding over 10 years into four pools of funds. The administration is structuring the plan in hopes of encouraging more than $1 trillion in state, local, and private financing to build and repair the nation’s bridges, highways, waterworks, and other infrastructure.”
“The total investment that could be generated could reach as much as $1.85 trillion, a White House official said, depending on how much private investment is leveraged.
The US Chamber of Commerce, the largest business lobbying group in Washington, is even backing a 25-cent increase in the federal gasoline tax to make that happen.
It is unusual for a business group to call for a tax increase, but the Chamber argues that it is necessary to fund critical infrastructure projects.
“It’s time to invest in a 21st century infrastructure, a system of infrastructures to support and grow a 21st century economy,” said Tom Donohue, the Chamber’s president, in a speech on Thursday as part of the organization’s renewed public push for action.”
There is more information in the article detailing cost-sharing options. I encourage you to take a good look at the Reuters article and decide for yourself if this is a good start.