(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
WASHINGTON - US President Donald Trump will roll out an infrastructure plan on Monday that already faces significant hurdles in Congress because it does not offer as much new federal funding as Democrats want or directly address how to pay for the effort.
The plan to use $200 billion in federal funds to try to stimulate $1.5 trillion in infrastructure improvements over 10 year could reshape how the federal government funds roads, bridges, highways and other infrastructure. The administration also says it will eliminate bureaucratic roadblocks to completing projects that can tie up new roads for years.
But in the face of a divided US Senate and congressional elections in November, administration officials acknowledged the plan faced a difficult road to winning approval.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said Trump’s plan "shifts the burden onto cities and states."
White House aides told reporters in a phone briefing on Saturday that the proposal, billed only as "infrastructure principles" and to be part of Trump's budget plan on Monday, was just a starting point.
"This in no way, shape or form should be considered a take-it-or-leave-it proposal. This is the start of a negotiation - bicameral bipartisan negotiation - to find the best solution for infrastructure," said a senior official, who was not allowed to be identified under the ground rules for the briefing.
The White House is pointing to a wide variety of potential cuts in its budget proposal that could be used to offset the costs of the plan.