A document was leaked yesterday that contains an outline of what might be contained in a long-promised White House infrastructure proposal. Heavy caveats are required, as we do not know who prepared this document, who leaked it, or whether it reflects the administration’s thinking. When asked about the document, a White House spokesperson declined to comment on a leaked source. She did not, however, indicate the document was fabricated.
The document contains two major sections: “Funding Principles” and “Principles for Infrastructure Improvements.” The document does not contain principles as much as a set of policy ideas and proposed regulatory changes, with varying degrees of detail. The draft outline leaves much to be answered. There is no proposed funding amount, just percentages of the total that would be committed to the proposed programs. Since no funding level is proposed, nothing indicates how the bill would ultimately be paid for.
The changes proposed appear to be separate from the current transportation authorization, which relies mostly on fuel tax revenues to fund projects primarily through discretionary, formula-based programs. The program outlined in the leaked document would do a little of that (for dollars to rural areas), but primarily relies upon grant awards through a competitive process controlled by federal agencies.
The portions described in this document are the most impactful for NARC’s members.