President Trump unveiled his administration’s $200 billion infrastructure plan this week to a lukewarm reception from the real estate industry and elected officials in the New York region.
While officials support the administration’s focus on infrastructure, the plan places a hefty burden on the state and private money.
Trump said at a press conference Monday that the plan “will spur the biggest and boldest infrastructure investment in American history. The framework will generate an unprecedented $1.5 to $1.7 trillion investment in American infrastructure.”
In the plan that was unveiled Monday, the $200 billion will be broken down into four sections.
There will be $100 billion in matching funds to be made available to states and cities on certain terms, a $50 billion rural block grant program that will be handed out to states based on road mileage and the extent of the rural population.
Another portion of the plan is a $20 billion fund for “projects of national significance,” while another $20 billion would go to federal loan programs that underwrite private financing of profitable infrastructure projects.
The last piece of the plan is a $10 billion capital financing program that would fund the construction of federal office buildings and similar kinds of infrastructure for government use.
Trump’s plan hinges on the $100 billion grant program that the administration projects will generate a total level of infrastructure investment far in excess of what’s currently being spent by state and local governments.
However, elected officials and industry leaders in the New York area, anxious to get major projects done like the Gateway tunnel, say more federal money needs to be allocated.
“While we believe $200 billion is a good starting point, our national infrastructure systems will need a much larger investment from the federal government just to bring them up to a state of good repair and accommodate for future growth, let alone begin the transformative projects our country desperately needs,” said New York Building Congress president Carlo Scissura in a statement.
“Above all, Gateway remains the most critical infrastructure project in the United States–the current dilapidated tunnels represent a single point of failure for 10 percent of our nation’s GDP– and we cannot afford for it to be delayed any longer.”“
Mayor Bill de Blasio said on his weekly appearance during the “Ask the Mayor” segment on the Brian Lehrer show last Friday that there “will be” a Gateway Tunnel eventually, “Donald Trump or no Donald Trump.” de Blasio said the administration’s plan has a heavy reliance on privatization and private dollars for infrastructure projects is an “unworkable way.”
“What we really need, what has always worked for this country, is heavy infusions of federal money to fix infrastructure for the good of our people and our economy,” said de Blasio on the show.
The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) came out in support of the $200 billion infrastructure plan, but said Congress needs to add on to the plan with more legislation for badly needed repairs nationwide.
“Moving forward, this association will work vigorously to ensure Congress passes a significant, new, long-term infrastructure funding package as quickly as possible,” the AGC of America said in a statement.
“Our goal will be to make sure every member of Congress appreciates that our economy will not be able to grow if we continue to allow our infrastructure to deteriorate.”