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Trump Unveils $1.5 Trillion Infrastructure Plan

President Donald Trump is unveiling his long-awaited infrastructure plan on Monday. President Donald Trump is unveiling his long-awaited infrastructure plan on Monday. |  Photo: Photo: Michael Vadon, MGN Online

Updated: February 12, 2018 02:33 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump is urging Congress to pass what he's calling the "biggest and boldest" infrastructure plan.

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Trump is making his case as he meets with a group of local and state officials, including governors, state legislators, mayors and country commissioners.

Trump says local leaders understand the challenges of funding infrastructure and says his is a "common sense and bipartisan plan" that Congress should support.

He also says Washington should be a partner to local governments and no longer "a roadblock to progress."

Trump's plan envisions using $200 billion in federal money to leverage local and state tax dollars to fix roads, highways, ports and airports.

The plan would fulfill a key campaign goal but rely heavily on state and local government budgets.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., says the president's plan would raise tolls on commuters, increase the burden on cities and states, and sell essential infrastructure to the whims of Wall Street.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., says Trump's plan would put unsustainable burdens on local government and calls it a "plan to appease his political allies, not to rebuild the country."

Public land development to pay for parks upkeep

The Trump administration's infrastructure plan includes $18 billion to create a public lands infrastructure fund for the Interior Department. Most of the money would come from revenue generated by energy development on federal lands.

The money would be used to whittle down an estimated $16 billion backlog in maintenance for national parks, wildlife refuges and other public lands.

The Interior Department has separately proposed $1.3 billion in the next budget year to address the maintenance backlog, which includes more than $11 billion for the National Park Service alone.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said the nation's parks and wildlife refuges "are being loved to death" and need significant work to keep pace with increased number of visitors.

Plan includes selloff of two DC-area airports

President Donald Trump's infrastructure plan calls for possibly selling two of the three major airports serving the nation's capital.

The president is calling for divesting federal assets when agencies can show the sale would "optimize taxpayer value."

The proposal lists Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Dulles International Airport as examples of assets that could be sold.

Other such examples of federal assets to be divested include transmission lines operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Bonneville Power Administration. Similar plans in the past have been met with stiff, bipartisan opposition.

Trump is also citing two major roadways in the Washington D.C. region that could be sold: the George Washington Memorial and Baltimore-Washington parkways.


Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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