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Trump unveils infrastructure plan, budget to propose funds for border wall

The infrastructure plan proposes $200 billion in federal funding to states, cities and local governments, who will be expected raise the rest of the financing, which is estimated to add up to $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years.

world Updated: Feb 12, 2018 22:34 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times, Washington
Donald Trump,infrastructure,US president
Copies of US President Donald Trump's 2019 budget proposal are delivered to the House Budget Committee offices on Capitol Hill in Washington on February 12, 2018.(Reuters)

US President Donald Trump on Monday unveiled his vaunted infrastructure plan which is expected to lead to spending $1.5 trillion on refurbishing and upgrading the country’s roads, bridges and airports.

His administration was later scheduled to announce its budget for 2019, which sets aside $18 billion for a wall along the Mexico border.

Both measures will have to be legislated by Congress.

The infrastructure plan proposes $200 billion in federal funding to states, cities and local governments, who will be expected raise the rest of the financing, which is estimated to add up to $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years. The plan has been described as a financing scheme that shifts the burden of funding infrastructure on to local governments, who would likely raise the money through taxes, fee, toll and fee of services.

“We’re going to get the roads in great shape,” Trump said at a White House event to announce his infrastructure plan. “Washington no longer will be a roadblock to progress.”

According to a fact-sheet released ahead of Trump’s speech, the White House said $100 billion will go as incentives to states and local governments, and the rest will be split up among credit schemes and funds aimed towards spurring infrastructure investments. A block grant of $50 billion will go to rural infrastructure that “has been left behind for too long”.

Around $21 billion will be proposed in the 2019 budget.

“Every federal dollar should be leveraged by partnering with state and local governments and, where appropriate, tapping into private sector investment to permanently fix the infrastructure deficit,” Trump had said in his State of the Union address on January 30.

“We will build gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways, and waterways all across our land. And we will do it with American heart, and American hands, and American grit.”

According to the highlights released by the White House, the budget proposals will include $23 billion for border security, of which $18 billion will be set aside for the border wall. Trump expects the 1,000 mile-long wall to cost $10 billion, but a study by The Washington Post put the cost at around $25 billion.

First Published: Feb 12, 2018 22:34 IST