White House officials unveiled President Trump's long-awaited infrastructure plan on Monday as the administration prepares to lay out its priorities for a 2019 budget.
Trump's plan, according to administration officials, would seek to facilitate more than $1.5 trillion in investments for projects such as road and bridge construction, waterway improvements and rural development by spending $200 billion in taxpayer money to jump-start the work.
"To help build a better future for all Americans, I ask the Congress to act soon on an infrastructure bill that will: stimulate at least $1.5 trillion in new investment over the next 10 years, shorten the process for approving projects to two years or less, address unmet rural infrastructure needs, empower state and local authorities, and train the American workforce of the future," the White House noted in the 55-page legislative framework released on Monday.
Earlier Monday, Trump framed his forthcoming infrastructure plan as an alternative to "stupidly" spending billions on military conflicts in the Middle East.
Trump had called for $1.5 trillion in infrastructure investments during his State of the Union address on Jan. 30, but had declined to specify how much of that money would come from the private sector and how much Congress would need to appropriate.
The White House originally floated a plan that would attempt to stimulate $1 trillion in infrastructure spending with a $200 billion injection of taxpayer funds. However, aides adjusted that figure upward to $1.5 trillion as the administration got closer to releasing its official plan.
The president said Monday that his plan would emphasize projects in rural areas, including expanding access to broadband in regions where high-speed Internet is difficult to find.
"The rural folks have been left out," Trump said during a meeting at the White House with state and local leaders about infrastructure. He noted his plan would dedicate $50 billion to rural development.
Trump said his plan to create public-private partnerships would spur "the biggest and boldest infrastructure investment in American history."
"Washington will no longer be a roadblock to progress," Trump said, highlighting the parts of his plan that would send money to states in the form of grants. "Washington will now be your partner."