In this file:


·         Trump Infrastructure Outline Tabs $50 Billion for Rural Projects

·         White House Wants to Stimulate $1.5 Trillion in Projects, Overhaul Federal Permit Rules



Trump Infrastructure Outline Tabs $50 Billion for Rural Projects


By Chuck Abbott, Successful Farming - 2/12/2018


As part of a mammoth package envisioned by the Trump administration, the nation’s governors would be given $50 billion in block grants to help finance rural projects such as expansion of broadband service, said two senior White House officials. They said the block grant funding would be available on a more rapid basis than the rest of the $200 billion in federal funding that would be provided for improvements nationwide for all types of public works.


Overall, the Trump administration projects the federal funds will stimulate $1.5 trillion in infrastructure spending. The federal share of 13% is expected to attract a flood of state, local, and private-sector money, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the White House’s “infrastructure principles.” Their description was more detailed than a fact sheet issued in conjunction with the State of the Union speech but left open many operational questions.


One of the White House officials said the rural funds “are advanced” and would be available sooner than the rest of the package, but he did not spell out a release schedule or say how they would be divided among states, all of which have some rural territory. The share of funds earmarked for rural America – one fourth of the federal share – was suggested by the White House last month.


The House and Senate Agriculture committees would share control with a handful of other congressional committees over the package, according to the senior officials. “They’ll have, hopefully, their own lanes,” said one of the officials, but jurisdiction may overlap in some areas.


During a briefing, the White House officials said the proposed $200 billion in direct federal spending was in line with the average federal share of public works spending, which they said was 14%. They also said the White House budget proposal for fiscal 2019 would offset the cost of the new package. Some transportation-related funding, such as transit, would be trimmed...





White House Wants to Stimulate $1.5 Trillion in Projects, Overhaul Federal Permit Rules


BY Chris Clayton, DTN

via KTIC (NE) - February 12, 2018


OMAHA (DTN) — The White House will release its long-awaited infrastructure plan on Monday, which calls for spending $200 billion in federal funding over 10 years to stimulate $1.5 trillion in new infrastructure investment, as well as overhauling the federal permit process for large infrastructure projects.


The administration sees the projects including any various transportation public works, but also technology as well, such as expanding rural broadband. A pool of $50 billion in rural funding will go to governors as block grants as well.


The $200 billion, over 10 years, wouldn’t necessarily be new spending — unless Congress chooses otherwise — because a senior White House official told reporters President Donald Trump’s budget proposal coming out Monday would take the $200 billion in infrastructure spending out of other parts of the federal government.


To hit $1.5 trillion in investment, the White House plan also requires states and local governments to commit to 80% to 90% of the funding in some cases to receive a federal match for some projects. The Highway Trust Fund would stay in place and would remain the current pot for state revolving funds. But the federal-state match of 80-20 for federal highway projects would be inverted for other various public-works projects to a 20% federal match with 80% funding from elsewhere. White House officials see state and local revenues being generated from property taxes, user fees or sales taxes to boost local investments and achieve a higher share of federal matches.


“So if they’re creating new revenue streams and they want to build something, we will partner with them to help them to match and fulfill that one final gap in terms of financing infrastructure,” a senior administration official said on a press call Saturday.


While the White House can lay out its infrastructure plan in a budget proposal, Congress will still be on the hook for creating legislation and funding for any new infrastructure spending. Congress has talked for years about developing a new infrastructure plan, but lawmakers have been unable to come to terms about how to pay for such plans. Congress has rejected raising federal fuel taxes to pay for the Highway Trust Fund, for instance...