President Trump promoted his infrastructure plan on Tuesday, which has been blasted by even some conservative critics as "a joke." Released Monday, the White House proposes leveraging $200 billion in federal spending into $1.5 trillion worth of projects, mostly by asking state and local governments to match the funds by as much as a 4-to-1 ratio.
Our infrastructure plan has been put forward and has received great reviews by everyone except, of course, the Democrats. After many years we have taken care of our Military, now we have to fix our roads, bridges, tunnels, airports and more. Bipartisan, make deal Dems?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 13, 2018
The proposal would also see the government selling off or privatizing assets like Dulles and Reagan National airports, freeways, aqueducts, and electrical facilities.
A leaked draft of the White House's infrastructure plan has surfaced over at Axios, and although specific funding numbers are not attached, the document offers the first details in what has so far been a fairly confusing process.
What we know: The $1 trillion infrastructure plan is one of President Trump's biggest campaign promises, and there is a lot at stake for his administration in how it gets executed. The leaked document breaks down spending into categories, where infrastructure incentives make up 50 percent of total appropriation and encourage "state, local, and private investment in core infrastructure by providing incentives in the form of grants." Transformative projects, which "must be exploratory and ground-breaking ideas," make up 10 percent, rural infrastructure makes up 25 percent, federal credit programs 7 percent, and the federal capital financing fund 5 percent.
A key detail of the plan is that it prioritizes "projects associated with new, non-federal revenue," transportation expert Yonah Freemark writes, with that accounting for 70 percent of the scoring criteria. "This makes sense as the whole framing of the Trump proposal has been that it is incentivizing '$1 trillion' in spending, "Freemark adds. "This is only possible if other, non-federal, sources of funding become available."
5: For instance, LA & Seattle passed huge funding packages in 2016. If they applied for grant funding from this new source in 2018, they'd have their score for local funding reduced by 70%. If they applied in 2019, they wouldn't be able to count those funding packages *at all.*
— Yonah Freemark (@yfreemark) January 22, 2018
As both Freemark and others noted, grants would also decline from funding upwards of 50 percent of project costs to a ceiling of 20 percent:
From leaked White House infra document (via Axios). Bad news (or at least not immediately obvious good news) for the Hudson tunnel IF it's going to be considered as part of this plan, not separately.https://t.co/ca17ZUtC8O pic.twitter.com/pUDEbdOvyF
— Nicole Gelinas (@nicolegelinas) January 22, 2018