Trump to roll out plan to overhaul US infrastructure

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump will roll out an infrastructure plan on Monday that already faces significant hurdles in Congress because it does not offer as much new federal funding as Democrats want or directly address how to pay for the effort.

The plan to use $200 billion in federal funds to try to stimulate $1.5 trillion in infrastructure improvements over 10 year could reshape how the federal government funds roads, bridges, highways and other infrastructure. The administration also says it will eliminate bureaucratic roadblocks to completing projects that can tie up new roads for years.

But in the face of a divided U.S. Senate and congressional elections in November, administration officials acknowledged the plan faced a difficult road to winning approval.

17 PHOTOS
President Trump discusses infrastructure
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President Trump discusses infrastructure
U.S. President Donald Trump takes the stage to deliver remarks on infrastructure improvements, at the Department of Transportation in Washington, U.S. June 9, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. President Donald Trump shows off a large binder with highway permitting documents on the stage during his remarks on infrastructure improvements, at the Department of Transportation in Washington, U.S. June 9, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump shows off a large binder with highway permitting documents on the stage during his remarks on infrastructure improvements, at the Department of Transportation in Washington, U.S. June 9, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump concludes his remarks on infrastructure improvements, at the Department of Transportation in Washington, U.S. June 9, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump (R), flanked by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke (L) and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao (2nd L) delivers remarks on infrastructure improvements, at the Department of Transportation in Washington, U.S. June 9, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump arrives at the Infrastructure Summit with Governors and Mayors at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 8, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the Infrastructure Summit with Governors and Mayors at the White House in Washington, U.S. June 8, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
U.S. President Donald Trump arrives at the Infrastructure Summit with Governors and Mayors at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 8, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
U.S. President Donald Trump is presented with a hat before the Infrastructure Summit with Governors and Mayors at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 8, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
U.S. President Donald Trump gestures during the Infrastructure Summit with Governors and Mayors at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 8, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
Vornado Realty Trust founder Steve Roth (2nd R) and LeFrak CEO Richard Lefrak (R) join U.S. President Donald Trump as he delivers remarks on his potential infrastructure proposals during an event at the Rivertowne Marina in Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S. June 7, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke (L), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt (2nd L) and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue (R) join U.S. President Donald Trump as he delivers remarks on his potential infrastructure proposals during an event at the Rivertowne Marina in Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S. June 7, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks on his potential infrastructure proposals during an event at the Rivertowne Marina in Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S. June 7, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks on his potential infrastructure proposals during an event at the Rivertowne Marina in Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S. June 7, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump waves to the crowd after announcing his $1 trillion infrastructure plan during a rally alongside the Ohio River at the Rivertowne Marina in Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S. June 7, 2017. REUTERS/John Sommers II TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. President Donald Trump waves to the crowd after announcing his $1 trillion infrastructure plan during a rally alongside the Ohio River at the Rivertowne Marina in Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S. June 7, 2017. REUTERS/John Sommers II
U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks on U.S. transportation infrastructure projects in front of coal barges at Rivertowne Marina in Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S., June 7, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said Trump’s plan "shifts the burden onto cities and states."

White House aides told reporters in a phone briefing on Saturday that the proposal, billed only as "infrastructure principles" and to be part of Trump's budget plan on Monday, was just a starting point.

"This in no way, shape or form should be considered a take-it-or-leave-it proposal. This is the start of a negotiation - bicameral bipartisan negotiation - to find the best solution for infrastructure," said a senior official, who was not allowed to be identified under the ground rules for the briefing.

The White House is pointing to a wide variety of potential cuts in its budget proposal that could be used to offset the costs of the plan.

The administration proposed significant cuts last year to some U.S. Transportation Department infrastructure programs, which were not approved by Congress.

Democrats insist that any plan must include new revenue, which could mean raising the federal gas tax. That levy has been 18.4 cents a gallon since 1993, and inflation as well as rising vehicle fuel efficiency have reduced its usefulness in raising enough money to keep pace with repair needs.

Government auditors note Congress transferred $140 billion to the Highway Trust Fund from 2008 through 2015. Lawmakers, to maintain current spending levels, would need to approve an additional $107 billion from 2021 through 2026.

Trump has not ruled out a gas tax hike and some in Congress have said they are open to the idea. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently came out in support of an increase. 

Democrats in Congress called last week for $1 trillion in direct federal spending, including $100 billion on schools alone as well as billions to expand rural broadband internet service, improve airports, mass transit, roads and ports, boost energy efficiency and improve aging water systems.

The Democratic proposal did not identify any specific plan to pay for improvements, but aides said they were committed to finding a way.   

21 PHOTOS
A look at America's infrastructure
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A look at America's infrastructure
Aaron LaRocca, Chief of Staff of the George Washington Memorial Parkway, shows rusted beams in need of replacement on the draw span of the Arlington Memorial Bridge in Washington, U.S., June 20, 2016. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Aaron LaRocca, Chief of Staff of the George Washington Memorial Parkway, stands by support beams used to support the counter weight of the draw span of the Arlington Memorial Bridge in Washington, U.S., June 20, 2016. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Obsolete voltage meters in the draw bridge control room are shown on the Arlington Memorial Bridge in Washington, U.S., June 20, 2016. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Aaron LaRocca, Chief of Staff of the George Washington Memorial Parkway, looks at a trunnion post that needs replacement on the Arlington Memorial Bridge in Washington, U.S., June 20, 2016. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Steel beams on the draw span, which needs replacement, are shown on the Arlington Memorial Bridge in Washington, U.S., June 20, 2016. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Garbage and debris pile up behind the Markland Locks and Dam on the Ohio River in Florence, Indiana, U.S., September 14, 2017. According the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Markland Locks? construction started in March 1956 and the locks were placed in operation in May 1959. Photograph taken at N38�46.464' W84�57.836'. Photo taken September 14, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Construction of the new Olmsted Locks and Dam continues on the Ohio River in Olmsted, Illinois, U.S., September 19, 2017. According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Olmsted Locks and Dam will replace locks and dams 52 and 53 and will be operational in 2018. Photograph taken at N37�11.131' W89�04.053'. Photo taken September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo drives a 1955 Chevrolet Corvette with World War II veteran Armando "Chick" Gallela, during a dedication ceremony for the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge that is to replace the current Tappan Zee Bridge over the Hudson River in Tarrytown, New York, U.S., August 24, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Construction equipment fills a portion of Cedar Street during a years-long water main and sewer renovation project under the street in Somerville, Massachusetts, U.S., August 4, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
A police officer looks at work crews replacing a bridge over the Massachusetts Turnpike, part of in MassDOT's (Massachusetts Department of Transportation) Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Replacement Project, in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., August 4, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Work crews work to replace a bridge over the Massachusetts Turnpike, part of in MassDOT's (Massachusetts Department of Transportation) Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Replacement Project, in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., August 4, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
A bicyclist and a driver make their way over steel plates covering a portion of Cedar Street during a years-long water main and sewer renovation project under the street in Somerville, Massachusetts, U.S., August 4, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Firefighters work to fix a leak in the water infrastructure beneath the pavement outside a home in Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 22, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
A pothole is pictured on the street of Los Angeles, California February 12, 2016. An estimated 65 percent of U.S. roads are in poor condition, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, with the transportation infrastructure system rated 12th in the World Economic Forum's 2014-2015 global competitiveness report. Picture taken February 12. To match Insight AUTOS-AUTONOMOUS/INFRASTRUCTURE REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
A pothole is pictured on the street of Los Angeles, California February 12, 2016. An estimated 65 percent of U.S. roads are in poor condition, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, with the transportation infrastructure system rated 12th in the World Economic Forum's 2014-2015 global competitiveness report. Picture taken February 12. To match Insight AUTOS-AUTONOMOUS/INFRASTRUCTURE REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
OAKLAND, CA - JULY 12: A traffic delineator stands in a pothole on July 12, 2017 in Oakland, California. According to a report by WalletHub, roads in San Francisco, Oakland and four other California cities are the worst in the United States. Drivers in San Francisco and Oakland pay an estimated $978 per year to repair vehicle damage from driving on roads with potholes and uneven pavement. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 30: Pedestrians stop and look at a sinkhole caused by a water main break on Amsterdam Avenue, in the Upper West Side section of Manhatten, August 30, 2016 in New York City. Water started flowing Monday night from a broken pipe and crews continued with repairs on Tuesday morning. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 30: Workers observe the site of a water main break that caused a sinkhole on Amsterdam Avenue, in the Upper West Side section of Manhatten, August 30, 2016 in New York City. Water started flowing Monday night from a broken pipe and crews continued with repairs on Tuesday morning. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 30: A woman peers into a sinkhole caused by a water main break on Amsterdam Avenue, in the Upper West Side section of Manhatten, August 30, 2016 in New York City. Water started flowing Monday night from a broken pipe and crews continued with repairs on Tuesday morning. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Potholes are seen at the former site of the General Motors Co. powertrain plant inside the Willow Run airport in Ypsilanti, Michigan, U.S., on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016. The Great Lakes state plans to make a test track out of a 330-acre (134-hectare) industrial ghost town near Ypsilanti, where Rosie the Riveter built B-24 bombers during World War II. Photographer: Sean Proctor/Bloomberg via Getty Images
DENVER, CO - MARCH 03: Sidney Oats, of Denver Public Works, patches a pothole at 2nd Ave. and Knox Ct. in Denver, March 03, 2015. The combination of unseasonably warm temperatures followed by freezing cold is responsible for the onslaught of potholes in the Denver area. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
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WORKFORCE TRAINING

The administration plans on Monday to unveil workforce training proposals, including expanding apprenticeships and seeking changes to federal work-study programs that typically are used by students at four-year institutions. It would allow more students interested in skilled trades to use them.

The Trump administration is also proposing that states that accept federal funds for infrastructure projects would have to accept workers with out-of-state skilled-trades licenses on those projects.

The proposal will offer $100 billion in incentives to state and local governments, but will propose a smaller percentage of matching finds than the federal government has typically offered.

The remaining $100 billion involves $50 billion for rural project grants distributed to all states, $30 billion for government financing of projects and $20 billion toward “transformative projects” or new ideas that are not simply repairing existing infrastructure

Trump will meet with state and local officials including the governors of Wisconsin, Louisiana, Virginia and Maine on Monday, before meeting with congressional leaders on Wednesday. He will head to the Orlando, Florida, area on Friday to tout the plan, officials said.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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