Trump administration’s $200 billion infrastructure plan to be unveiled Monday, will include a mix of grants and loans The White House will unveil its long-awaited infrastructure plan on Monday. The plan includes $200 billion in federal funding over a decade to incentivize new state and municipal building projects. The plan also calls for major reforms to the federal permitting process.

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The White House will unveil its long-awaited infrastructure plan on Monday, fulfilling a signature campaign promise of President Donald Trump. The proposal includes $200 billion in federal infrastructure spending over a decade, which would be paid for through cuts elsewhere in the budget.

The plan represents Trump’s opening salvo in what is already shaping up to be a long and complex debate in Congress over how best to shore up the nation’s infrastructure.

The largest single piece of the White House plan is a proposed $100 billion that would be made available to states and municipalities in the form of matching funds for infrastructure projects, according to White House officials who spoke to the press on background over the weekend. Federal funding, however, would be capped at 20 percent of the overall cost of any given project, leaving cities and states responsible for raising the other 80 percent.

Officials said the plan is designed to stimulate $1.5 trillion in new infrastructure investment, but they did not weigh in on how states and cities would raise the other eighty percent of the funds for new projects.

The proposal also includes $50 billion for rural infrastructure projects, which would be distributed to states in the form of block grants. 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. Another $20 billion would go to expanding current loan programs for public-private partnerships.

According to the White House, one particular financing program, known as TIFIA, leverages each dollar of federal money into an average of $40 from other sources. So by this rationale, an additional $20 billion for TIFIA financing programs would be expected to produce $800 billion in new infrastructure investment.

A second major piece of the plan involves reforms to the federal permitting process, aimed at cutting the amount of time it takes for infrastructure projects to gain approval. Under the White House plan, current environmental permitting rules would be “streamlined” — to use the administration’s term — to accommodate a wide range of infrastructure projects.

Details of the plan have been circulating in Washington for weeks, and Democrats in Congress have already released an alternative infrastructure plan that calls for $1 trillion in federal spending, or five times what the Trump administration is proposing.

Over the weekend, White House officials emphasized that many of the objectives in Trump’s plan enjoy wide bipartisan support — the only sticking point is how to achieve them. Still, they acknowledged that at least 10 different committees in Congress will have jurisdiction over one or more pieces of the proposal, all but guaranteeing a lengthy legislative process.

Trump is scheduled to host both Democratic and Republican leaders at the White House on Wednesday to discuss the infrastructure proposal.

By Christina Wilkie/CNBC

Posted by The NON-Conformist


The Attack On Planned Parenthood & The Abortion Issue

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What is Planned Parenthood? It is a federally funded organization that helps poor people with no other alternatives to receive reproductive care. It offers, birth control, pregnancy testing, abortions, pre-natal care, breast and cervical cancer screenings, infertility treatment, and STD testing. None of the federal dollars they receive go toward abortions. So why did  the bill, H.R.1,  which will strip funding of it pass the House 240-185? Planned Parenthood also offers Title X, a program that provides low-income families with aid toward family planning and reproductive health. So why are they under attack? Planned Parenthood cuts are part of a larger goal of reducing the deficit.

Multiple studies show it will cost the government more because woman will develop serious illnesses, or have problematic pregnancies and they’ll end up on medicaid says Rep. Peter Defazio (D- Oregon) “It’s very, very short-sighted.” For the third time, I ask, why the attack on this program? It  does offer abortions and secondly it will marginalize women.

In dealing with abortion it’s difficult, you have to cover it from all angles. It’s unfair to say you disagree with an issue without saying why you disagree with an issue.  Using words like “departmental “or “fiscal reasons” or “the big picture” doesn’t really explain why you disagree. Planned Parenthood and abortion is a difficult issue altogether. You have several camps arguring: the moral crowd vs. the immoral crowd, the pro-choice vs. the pro-life crowd, the religious right vs. everyone else. More

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