Trump plan to overhaul United States infrastructure faces steep hurdles

Budget director warns interest rates may 'spike' on deficit

The $200 billion infrastructure plan that President Donald Trump is to unveil Monday as part of his proposed 2019 budget would, as expected, force NY and New Jersey to scramble for private investors to fund the Gateway transit program.

"We want to stay away from what has been historical precedent and what undermines the public's trust in sending money to Washington, and that is Washington picking and choosing what we think priorities ought to be for states and communities across the country", he said. The rest state and local governments would have to come up with, but the president has said he has a solution.

Mulvaney's comments Sunday could be seen as a White House attempt to renege on that compromise, but the budget director emphasized that the compromise doesn't directly spend any money beyond the next six weeks.

"Tonight I'm calling on congress to produce a bill that generates at least 1.5 trillion dollars for the new infrastructure investment that our country so desperately needs", said President Trump.

The official explained that "virtually 100 percent of major infrastructure in the USA requires some form of federal permitting", but the federal government funds just about 14 percent of infrastructure costs, and owns an even smaller percentage.

Ten billion requested would be put into a capital financing fund "to actually fund the office-building infrastructure that the federal government is building now", according to the official.

"But I can tell you the real problem with this particular one is that our leadership caved". That stood in contrast to the federal government, where highway funds were flush in the 1990s but are scarce now.

Ahead of the president's announcement, the National Governors Association, National League of Cities, U.S. Conference of Mayors, and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials expressed support for having a national conversation on transportation funding.

Budget director warns interest rates may 'spike' on deficit
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But in the face of a divided U.S. Senate and congressional elections in November, administration officials acknowledged the plan faced a hard road to winning approval.

In fact, getting an infrastructure bill through Congress could be hard even without the gas tax increase.

Mulvaney said the OMB is updating the 2018 budget released last year and its 2019 request, due Monday, in response to the two-year budget deal the president signed into law on Friday morning. It will have to pass another by March 23 to keep the government open through September 30. One aspect of the plan to be highlighted is improvements at the nation's airports.

In addition, Trump said that Congress should move to streamline the process for those wishing to build new projects.

Mulvaney added, "Up until the time that it became obvious when the photographs came out that the person was not being honest with the president".

The administration would also increase infrastructure investment by funding corporate loans and activity bonds, where they say they expect up to $40 of investment for every federal dollar spent.

"It could be anything", an administration official said of the non-federal funding sources. That one agency would work with the other federal regulators to reach a single permitting decision within 21 months, and permitting would begin within three months afterward.

"We are not touching any of the fundamental requirements of the core environmental acts [but rather] the process to be used to do the analysis", the White House official said. For example, the administration will call for the licensing process to be more flexible so that licenses can be transferred easily from one state to another.

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