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


Elizabeth Warren backs proposal to make the USPS a ‘public option’ for payday lending

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Elizabeth Warren backs proposal to make the USPS a ‘public option’ for payday lending (via Raw Story )

Post Office branches could replace payday lenders under a proposal endorsed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). The Office of the Inspector General reported last week that 68 million Americans — more than one-fourth of all households – have no checking  or savings account and spent about $89 billion in 2012 on interest and fees on non-bank financial services.

Those households spend about $2,412 a year on these fees – or roughly the same amount they spend on food, Warren noted in a column posted Saturday at The Huffington Post.

“Think about that: about 10 percent of a family’s income just to manage getting checks cashed, bills paid, and, sometimes, a short-term loan to tide them over,” Warren wrote. “That’s more than a full month’s income just to try to navigate the basics.”

From the Raw Story

Posted by the NON-Conformist

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