Trump budget to give first look at infrastructure plan
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WASHINGTON, May 19 — President Donald Trump will propose US$200 billion (RM864.1 billion) in infrastructure spending over 10 years in his first budget on Tuesday — funding the administration believes will boost private, state and local spending on projects, a White House official said today.
The infrastructure plan, first reported by Bloomberg News, is likely to include funding to encourage state and local governments to lease assets to the private sector to generate funding for other projects.
Trump has long pledged a US$1 trillion, 10-year plan to modernise US roads, bridges, airports, the electrical grid and water systems, but has so far been vague on how much of the spending would come from the federal government.
Trump, who leaves today for his first foreign trip, will miss the roll-out of his full budget. He was to meet with his budget director, Mick Mulvaney, today before departing.
The budget will also include details about Trump’s proposals to cut foreign aid and boost military spending. It could provide clues on his plan to cut taxes.
The Washington Post reported that the budget will include funds for a program to give parents six weeks of paid leave after the birth or adoption of a child, expected to cost about US$25 billion a year.
While Trump can propose programs, Congress ultimately controls spending and rarely approves White House budget plans as proposed.
Republicans control both the Senate and House of Representatives, but were lukewarm to Trump’s initial “skinny budget” plan for fiscal 2018, released in March. — Reuters