During his first address to a joint session of Congress, President Donald Trump reiterated his call for a $1 trillion infrastructure package that would be financed with both public and private funds.
The mention of public money marks a change from previous statements that have centered on private financing.
The Trump Administration has yet to put forth a detailed infrastructure plan. At this time it remains unclear how much public money would be included in such a package and whether public funds would come from an increase in the motor fuels tax or a transfer from general funds.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) has said that there should be $40 of private-sector spending for every $1 of public spending.
During his speech, President Trump said that President Eisenhower initiated the last truly great national infrastructure program and that the time has come for a new program of national rebuilding.
“Crumbling infrastructure will be replaced with new roads, bridges, tunnels, airports and railways gleaming across our beautiful land,” the President said.
President Trump has said previously that the Administration would leverage private investment and tax credits to address the nation’s infrastructure needs. Private sector financing is a funding strategy that could lead to inefficient and counter-productive revenue schemes such as tolling and rest area commercialization, both of which NATSO strongly opposes.
NATSO has long supported boosting revenues into the Highway Trust Fund through a motor fuels tax increase.
A recent study conducted for Politico and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of public health found that an overwhelming majority of the general public ranks infrastructure investment as a top priority provided it comes in the form of new direct federal spending.
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