President Trump’s administration wants to use incentives through an infrastructure plan to finance the construction of bridges, tunnels and highways, the New York Times reports.
White House Budget Director Mark Mulvaney said incentives can encourage spending from states, localities and the private sector represent the largest piece of President Trump’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan.
Mulvaney, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and other members of Trump’s infrastructure team met with 150 state transportation officials to discuss efforts needed from the private sector in managing and financing public infrastructure. Mulvaney encouraged government to shift assets to fund new projects.
The goal for Chao and other administration officials is to stimulate federal funding to initiate and expedite projects with more participation from the state. The White House initially proposed spending $200 billion over 10 years on incentives, direct funding for rural projects, transformative infrastructure tech, and federal funding to sway non-federal entities to spend at least another $800 billion.
Amid Trump’s proposal for funding through incentives, Democrats said they want more federal spending. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer argued that the budget disclosed in May cuts $206 billion in infrastructure spending across several cabinet departments, including $96 billion on planned highway trust funds.
In response to Schumer’s assessment, Mulvaney said, “$200 billion is a lot—but it is not five trillion, so you still want to be smart with it. The President is very interested in trying to find that transformative, infrastructure technology, that is this close to being ready for market.”