Trump’s advisers are putting finishing touches on a plan to direct federal spending of $200bn or more — funds it would propose to offset with cuts elsewhere in the federal budget — to leverage hundreds of billions more from local governments and private investors to pay for road, rail, water and utility upgrades.
White House officials have said for months they hoped to turn to infrastructure once Congress has enacted an overhaul of the tax code, which has occupied the Republican establishment and its business allies for the past several months. More recently, Republicans have signaled they plan to focus on another posttax priority, a revamp of the nation’s welfare system. They also hope to revisit a repeal of the Affordable Care Act next year.
Big legislation can be more difficult in an election year, but Trump’s political advisers say they believe they?have public support. That runs counter to widespread doubts in Washington that Congress will want to craft a major spending initiative on the heels of a tax package that could raise the deficit by more than $1tr.
Polling shared with the White House recently shows majority support for an investment in infrastructure among groups that have favored Trump, like white men without college degrees. But the issue also polls well among groups that disapprove of Trump’s performance. Fifty-two percent of voters who supported Hillary Clinton in 2016 back an infrastructure program, according to the survey. Some 53 percent of white male respondents in states won by Clinton support an infrastructure initiative, as well as 51 percent of voters who say they disapprove of the job Trump is doing as president.
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