Administration Infrastructure Plan Calls for Faster Permitting

The White House on Monday released a 55-page document for President Donald Trump’s proposal to overhaul the nation’s infrastructure. The plan calls for Congress to write legislation for a $1.5 trillion infrastructure package that focuses on public-private partnerships, including funding from state and local governments, reports The Hill.

The plan is centered around four main goals: generating money, streamlining the permitting process, investing in rural infrastructure projects and advancing workforce training. White House officials said cutting down the environmental permitting process down to two years or less would help infrastructure deployment.

The federal government would contribute $200 billion to the package, a figure Democrats have already said is too small. The money is included in the Trump administration’s fiscal 2019 budget proposal, also released on Monday. The $4.4 trillion proposal, titled “Efficient, Effective, Accountable: An American Budget,” sets forth the president’s priorities as Congress prepares to consider spending bills for the next fiscal year.

Fifty billion (of the $200 billion) is targeted for rural infrastructure in the form of block grants to states. The money would cover many forms of infrastructure, including broadband. The rural funds would be fast-tracked and have few strings attached, reports Politico. Proposed cuts in the FY2019 budget would help pay for the direct infrastructure spending, according to White House officials.

Wireless trade groups reacted favorably to the infrastructure proposal.

February 13, 2018

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