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By Thomas Phippen
President Donald Trump’s administration will announce a plan for rebuilding American infrastructure soon, including $200 billion in taxpayer money, transportation secretary Elaine Chao said Monday.
“A key feature of the infrastructure plan will be unleashing the billions of dollars in private capital available for investment in infrastructure,” Chao said during a speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Washington Post reports.
The federal spending is intended to jump start local funding and private investment in development projects to reach the promised $1 trillion infrastructure spending Trump promised during the campaign.
“These funds will be used to leverage $1 trillion in infrastructure investment over 10 years,” Chao said. The federal investment will focus on building roads, bridges, water pipelines and other projects, and will be offset budget cuts “in order to avoid saddling future generations with more debt.”
The administration will identify several specific projects to fund that will have a strong impact on productivity, Chao said.
“Candidates for the special category may include projects that have the potential to significantly increase GDP growth or to lift the American spirit,” Chao said.
Both parties in Congress agree on the need for infrastructure spending, but the process in getting projects approved can take years to implement. State legislatures sometimes take years to approve highway projects, something that Trump would like to speed up by lifting certain regulations.
“It can take anywhere between 10, if you’re really good, 10 years to 20 years, and then they vote and you lose,” Trump said during a townhall in Washington D.C. April 4. (RELATED: Trump Breaks Out the Chart To Explain $1 Trillion Infrastructure Plan [VIDEO])
Democratic New York Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand asked Chao for $50 billion to improve New York City’s rail system in a letter over the weekend, the New York Daily News reports.