Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

Trump Signs Measure to Increase DoD Spending Over 2 Years

Trump Signs Measure to Increase DoD Spending Over 2 Years

The White House official took umbrage at the notion that the president wants to reverse funding ratio so that state and local governments will now get only 20% instead of 80% of federal funds for projects.

Mick Mulvaney, the former tea party congressman who runs the White House budget office, said Sunday that Trump's new budget, if implemented, would tame the deficit over time.

The first is that the country has been under-investing in infrastructure, leading a state of growing disrepair.

Defense Secretary James Mattis, a 2018 Wash100 recipient said the two-year bipartisan deal introduced by the Senate Wednesday would help address combat readiness challenges faced by US troops. The remaining 86 percent of the funding comes from state and local governments and the private sector.

Of the $200 billion, $100 billion would be spent on incentive grants for state and local governments that identify projects and revenue streams, such as property taxes, sales taxes, or user fees, to fund them.

That's a radical departure from the way many projects are funded now.

The deal, the fifth temporary funding measure for the fiscal year that began October 1, replenishes federal coffers until March 23, giving lawmakers more time to write a full-year budget. Only 28% of all highway construction and only 4% of water projects nationwide get federal funding, the officials said.

The budget request that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTillerson: Russia already looking to interfere in 2018 midterms Dems pick up deep-red legislative seat in Missouri Speier on Trump's desire for military parade: "We have a Napoleon in the making" MORE is releasing Monday will propose more than $23 billion for border security and immigration enforcement - including funds for a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border, the White House said Sunday. This program would block grant funds to governors who could then decide which infrastructure projects to prioritize in that state. Twenty billion would also be set aside to finance cutting-edge projects deemed too risky to qualify for traditional funding, but which have the potential to be transformative if they succeed. These would be "projects that can lift the American spirit, that are the next-century-type of infrastructure as opposed to just rebuilding what we have now".

Congressional leaders agreed on a two-year spending bill last week that boosts federal spending, but a minority of Republicans opposed the measure because they believed it sacrificed fiscal responsibility to obtain increases in defense funding.

It's unclear where the $200 billion is to come from, but the White House noted it would be pulled from "existing government spending", cut from the federal budget. But the sale he'll really need to make is to lawmakers on Capitol Hill - a fact of which administration officials involved in crafting the proposal are keenly aware.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said Trump's plan "shifts the burden onto cities and states".

Today president Trump is scheduled to unveil the plan for one of his biggest campaign promises - a promise reiterated a couple weeks ago during his State of the Union address. That tax of 18.4 cents a gallon for unleaded, 24.4 cents a gallon for diesel, hasn't been raised in 25 years and because of improvements in fuel efficiency and inflation, it raises less money now than it did when last raised in 1993. All of that may make it harder for Congress to approve more infrastructure spending without ensuring it will not add to the growing annual budget deficits.

The plan also aims to significantly shorten the environmental permitting process, which can take years of data-gathering and litigation, by giving one agency overall authority for each project to complete the process in 21 months and issue permits in three months, another senior White House official said. The administrations calls the concept "one agency, one decision" and proposes a single timeline for all relevant federal permitting agencies directed by a lead agency. "This is the start of a negotiation".

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