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Print Travel Pool #1
Steven Miller • Washington Times
June 7, 2017: 10:31 AM

While waiting for AF1 takeoff at JBA, White House provided this background guidance on today's trip to Ohio:

On Jun 7, 2017, at 10:19 AM, Walters, Lindsay E. EOP/WHO wrote:

Good Morning

To give you a little more color for today's event in Ohio please see below.

On background: Today the President will be presenting his vision for rebuilding America's infrastructure, a critical pillar of the President's agenda to promote job creation and grow the U.S. economy, during a speech in Cincinnati, Ohio. Our infrastructure has fallen to 12th in the world and that's unacceptable. Every American depends on our roads, rails, ports, and airports, and the President is committed to fixing this problem, not just pushing more liabilities onto future generations.

The President has dedicated $200 billion in his budget for infrastructure that can be leveraged for a $1 trillion investment into our crumbling systems. This would be divided into four categories:

  • Transformative Projects
  • To be given through a mixture of loans and grants, with Air Traffic Control privatization being a key example
  • Rural Infrastructure
  • Grants given to rural areas to repair crumbling bridges, roads, and waterways
  • Enhanced Loan Programs
  • The Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) is a good example of how federal funds can be highly leveraged with state, local, and private dollars
  • Incentive Programs
  • Grants to states and local municipalities' to create additional funding for infrastructure

The President aims to give States and localities the ability to address their own critical infrastructure needs and to collaborate with private enterprises where it makes sense:

  • A difference between the President's proposal and Barack Obama's Stimulus is the focus on accountability of how federal tax dollars will be spent. The Stimulus approach resulted in States just substituting federal highway dollars for state dollars.
  • Granting monies directly to States and localities also will cut down on federal waste, fraud and abuse
  • Many projects during the Obama stimulus were green-lighted based on political connections instead of merit
  • A 2014 study of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program that was included in the 2009 stimulus package found that the Department of Transportation ignored the cost-benefit analysis process, and awarded contracts on other, potentially political factors
  • And so-called "shovel ready" jobs did not turn out to be shovel ready
  • According to a 2010 Heritage Foundation study, less than 10 percent of the $840 billion stimulus was actually spent on so-called "shovel ready" projects

President Trump's regulatory reforms will spur growth and investment. In order to jumpstart investment, the President aims to dramatically reduce permitting time for these infrastructure projects from 10 years to 2 years and to get a "yes" or "no" quickly by slashing regulations

  • Projects have been burdened by layers of environmental regulations, which drive up costs and drag out project timelines
  • A 2011 Congressional Research Service study estimated major Federal Highway projects require an average of between nine and 19 years to complete with planning, design and federal environmental reviews consuming up to half of that time
  • The Obama stimulus increased the role of the federal government in funding and managing infrastructure projects
  • Instead, a better path to making needed infrastructure improvements is to develop better partnerships with State and local governments, and private firms


In the backdrop while the President speaks will be a barge of West Virginia coal.

In addition to 5 CEOs and 3 Union heads along with Gov. Bevin and 2 Lt. Govs from OH and KY, we have confirmed steel workers, coal miners in hard hats, farmers, local Chamber businesses, contractors/construction workers.

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