In a nod to President Donald Trump’s desire to build infrastructure, the White House on Thursday unveiled its “Infrastructure and Job Creation Act,” which would create a new $1 trillion fund to create jobs for the middle class, a move that would put pressure on congressional Democrats and some Republicans to take up their own version of the legislation.
The bill would provide $1.3 trillion over 10 years for infrastructure spending, the biggest investment in infrastructure since the financial crisis and the first since the federal government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, was created in 2009.
It would be financed through $400 billion in new revenue and other measures, and would include funding for “new projects that create jobs and increase wages for Americans.”
The legislation, authored by House Speaker Paul Ryan Paul Davis RyanHouse passes 4B spending bill to avert shutdown The Hill’s Morning Report — Senate Judiciary panel to vote on Kavanaugh confirmation MORE (R-Wis.), would also expand the federal definition of “public works” to include the infrastructure that the bill calls for, as well as make it easier for states to apply for federal grants.
It would also give states the ability to waive certain requirements for public works projects, including the requirement that public funds be spent on infrastructure that has the sole purpose of improving public safety.
While the bill would not include any new revenue, the president’s budget proposal released in February would have raised $1,400 billion over 10 months, or $834 billion in total over a decade.
The infrastructure bill, which would likely face opposition in Congress, would mark the latest sign that Trump is interested in pushing through a package of new spending.
The White House has also said it would seek to expand the infrastructure program that President Barack Obama created to address the nation’s chronic transportation problems.
“The president has called for $1 Trillion in new infrastructure investment,” a White House statement said.
“That will create hundreds of thousands of new jobs and rebuild the country’s crumbling infrastructure.”
Republicans have been pressing the administration to provide more detail on how the bill will be paid for.
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers Hal RogersCongress has a bad case of the ‘Curettos’ in the Senate: Trump Senate approves Trump’s first budget proposal MORE (Ga.) told reporters Thursday that the White Senate would have to agree to the $1trillion package.
Republicans, however, have expressed concern that the infrastructure package would not be enough to meet the nation´s infrastructure needs, especially as Congress struggles to pass a long-term spending bill.
“We are looking for a much larger amount of infrastructure than we have been getting under the Obama administration,” said Sen. John Barrasso John Anthony BarrassoTrump, GOP leaders clash over Russia probe Pompeo: It is too early to know if Russia probe is genuine Hillicon Valley: Trump signs off on executive order on border wall | Mexico calls for border wall relief | GOP approves new border wall funding bill | Trump warns about ‘red lines’ in DACA bill MORE (Wyo.), a member of the Republican Study Committee, which is expected to be the vehicle for any infrastructure bill in the House.
“I think the Trump administration has put the nation on notice, and I think they are going to have to find a way to make it happen,” he said.