Trump’s Infrastructure Day Includes Major Infrastructure Cuts
February 12, 2018
On the same day Trump released his infrastructure plan, he announced major cuts to transit and infrastructure programs in his budget. Trump’s sure doing a great job making it clear infrastructure is a top priority. Nonetheless, happy Infrastructure Day!
Trump’s infrastructure plan called for just $200 billion in federal funding, most of which would come from cuts to existing infrastructure and transit programs.
Reuters: “President Donald Trump unveiled a long-awaited infrastructure plan on Monday that asks the U.S. Congress to authorize $200 billion over 10 years to stimulate $1.5 trillion in improvements paid for by states, localities and private investors.”
UPI: “Much of the $200 billion will be found in cuts to federal transit programs and to the Department of Transportation's Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant program, which offers funding based on the needs of applying communities.”
Trump’s budget cut transportation funding by $178 billion over 10 years, nearly offsetting the entire infrastructure program.
Vox: “$199 billion over 10 years for a new infrastructure program meant to generate $1 trillion through private partnership spending; this is offset by a 28.6 percent cut to transportation spending from 2017 to 2023, cuts which over the same 10-year period total $178 billion. Combined with cuts to water and other infrastructure programs, it’s not clear the budget actually spends more on infrastructure.”
Slate: “In Trump’s budget, which was also released today, the discretionary budget for the DOT falls by $3.7 billion.
Trump’s budget slashes Amtrak funding nearly in half.
USA Today: “President Trump proposed again in his budget to cut Amtrak subsidies nearly in half, despite a series of accidents that led some lawmakers to propose more funding for the passenger railroad. Trump's budget blueprint proposed Monday to cut grants in half to the national network for Amtrak from nearly $1.2 billion to $538 million for the year that starts Oct. 1.”
Trump’s budget includes more than a twenty percent cut to the Army Corps of Engineers.
Vox: “A 33.7 percent cut to the EPA, a 29.5 percent cut to the National Science Foundation, a 22.2 percent cut to the Army Corps of Engineers (a major infrastructure program).”
Trump’s budget cuts nearly sixty percent of funding for New Starts transit, which provides federal grants to cities and regions building major transit projects.
Los Angeles Times' Laura J. Nelson: “Trump’s budget would also cut more than 58% of the funding for New Starts, a program that provides federal grants to cities and regions building major transit projects, such as subways and light-rail lines.”
Trump’s budget called for raising TSA fees on airline tickets.
USA Today: “President Trump proposed again Monday in his budget blueprint to raise Transportation Security Administration fees on airline tickets, which has been a non-starter in Congress … Trump proposed to raise the TSA fees for each one-way ticket to $6.60 from $5.60, for the year starting Oct. 1. The fee would also rise from $6.60 to $8.25 per one-way trip in 2020.”
Trump’s budget again proposed privatizing U.S. air traffic controllers, despite longstanding concerns that it would neglect rural areas and prioritize large airlines.
Bloomberg: “President Donald Trump’s proposed 2019 budget being released Monday will include his plan to spin off U.S. air-traffic control to non-profit management, a White House official said. Trump included a similar proposal in his 2018 budget request and formally released a plan in June to end the current system he’s called an antiquated, wasteful mess.”
USA Today: “But lawmakers from rural states and members of the general-aviation community have opposed privatization, worried that airlines will dominate the system to their own advantage.”
Trump’s budget abolishes three commissions that fund infrastructure and economic development in specific areas.
The Hill: “While lawmakers are unlikely to enact most of Trump's proposal, here’s a look at some of the centers and agencies the White House wants to abolish … The Denali Commission, the Delta Regional Authority and the Northern Border Regional Commission, which fund infrastructure and economic projects in specified areas.”