Trump gets chance to sell nation on rebuilding plan
Published on January 28, 2018
By FLONAD News
BY MELANIE ZANONA
President Trump will pitch his long-awaited infrastructure plan during his inaugural State of the Union address next week, using the stage as an opportunity to start selling both Congress and the public on his ambitious rebuilding effort.
The infrastructure package is shaping up to be one of the few policy items left on the GOP agenda this year after must-pass pieces of legislation such as spending bills and debt-ceiling legislation are resolved.
But doubts are growing on Capitol Hill about whether lawmakers will be willing to rally behind a bipartisan infrastructure bill, especially in the wake of a nasty fight over immigration that led to this month’s three-day government shutdown.
Lawmakers say the ability to muscle the rebuilding proposal over the finish line will likely rest squarely on Trump’s shoulders.
“I think the president is going to have to play a big role. It’s going to take a lot of presidential leadership to get infrastructure,” Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, told reporters this week.
“A lot of it will come down to how is it paid for, and the substance will matter in terms of whether or not there is bipartisan support for it.”
Trump has long promised to rebuild U.S. roads, bridges, airports and other public works with a massive infrastructure package.
The idea is to use $200 billion in federal seed money to create $1 trillion worth of overall infrastructure investment by raising revenues from the private sector and local governments.
But the rebuilding initiative, which Trump initially promised to release within his first 100 days in office, slipped to the back burner last year as the GOP instead prioritized other issues such as taxes and health care.
The administration has since missed a series of self-imposed deadlines to release more details about its infrastructure plan.
Both White House officials and lawmakers say Trump will finally outline his infrastructure vision during his first State of the Union address on Tuesday, with legislative principles expected to land on Capitol Hill shortly thereafter.
“The President has an opportunity to lay out his framework for infrastructure investment on Tuesday night and I am eager to hear it,” Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said in a statement.
Read more… THE HILL
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