Trump Uses Ohio Visit to Tout Infrastructure Plan
March 30,2018-President Trump visited Richfield, Ohio, March 29 to talk up his infrastructure investment ideas, as part of an administration effort to build momentum for his plan to invest $200 billion in new federal funds over a decade to spur more than $1.5 trillion in total project spending.
He spoke at a union worker training center in the town located between Cleveland and Akron, accompanied by U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Labor Secretary Alex Acosta
Trump told the audience that Congress would probably wait until after the mid-term elections in November before lawmakers would act on major infrastructure legislation.
"It can be passed in one bill or in a series of measures," he said. "What matters is that we get the job done."
The president's remarks echoed those of some congressional leaders who have said Congress will act this year on aviation and water projects bills, and can use those to address some of the infrastructure investment aspirations.
Congress also just passed, and Trump signed, a fiscal 2018 appropriations bill that funnels more funds into transportation and other types of infrastructure, in the first such measure under a two-year agreement to hike federal project spending this year and in 2019.
Trump also touted his administration's efforts to speed up federal permitting of infrastructure projects, to move them faster into the construction phase and generate their economic and mobility benefits sooner.
While Trump was giving a speech that ranged far beyond infrastructure issues, the White House released a new fact sheet that listed highlights from his proposal.
Those include using $100 billion over 10 years in an incentives program to entice additional investment from states, localities and the private sector, and $50 billion in a rural infrastructure program that would mostly go through state-directed block grants.
Various transportation stakeholder groups, including the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, have said that Congress in any major infrastructure legislation should also dedicate enough new revenue to close a looming long-term investment gap for the Highway Trust Fund.