State of the Union: Trump calls for $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill
President Donald Trump, in his State of the Union address Tuesday night highlighted a $1.5 trillion infrastructure improvement plan. “I am calling on the Congress to produce a bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion for the new infrastructure investment we need,” Trump said in the speech. “Every Federal dollar should be leveraged by partnering with State and local governments and, where appropriate, tapping into private sector investment — to permanently fix the infrastructure deficit.”
The specific details of the plan remain somewhat vague. For one thing, the scope and size of the plan were not announced until Trump’s speech, where he suggested the final investment goal would be anywhere from $1 trillion to $1.8 trillion.
Although the details remain uncertain, investment in infrastructure brings hope for the construction industry. The president wants to spend $200 billion rebuilding ailing roads, bridges, airports, railways, and water projects. The money would be used to generate federal, state, local and private resources totaling at least $1.5 trillion over the next decade.
The president briefed the nation about a major investment, but more importantly, he wants to streamline the approval process on infrastructure. “Today, we have an infrastructure approval process that takes seven to 10 years to build relatively simple roads. We need to streamline that to less than two years.”
Trump in his first year has benefited from a sharp uptick in economic activity, with GDP growth expected to be around 3 percent for the second year of his term. Other crucial areas, though, particularly wage growth and productivity, remain weak.
Americans understand how important infrastructure is to this country and how it is holding back economic growth and productivity. In construction, the number one data point people pick on is the lack of productivity. The best was to increase productivity growth in this country is to invest in building our infrastructure and continuing to build it moving forward.
Although there is leaked draft available, the Trump administration is still finalizing its long-awaited infrastructure plan, which would push most of the financing of projects to private investment and state and local governments, according to sources familiar with the proposal taking shape. Democrats have criticized that proposal and argued the Trump administration should propose more direct federal spending.
Let the political battles begin, but an infrastructure plan will bring more jobs and projects for the Construction Industry. There’s hope!