Friday, March 2, 2018
GOP Calls WH Infrastructure Plan ‘Common-Sense’ While Dems Pan The Math
The administration’s plan to direct $200 billion in federal dollars to infrastructure projects includes broadband as a priority, but earmarks no money specifically toward expanding wireless or fixed broadband access. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, spent time discussing the administration’s reasoning during a sometimes contentious hearing before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on Thursday.
In a factsheet released by the White House last Friday, the administration states that $50 billion is dedicated to rural infrastructure and accounts for 25 percent of federal spending in the plan. “These funds will be awarded directly to the states, giving them the flexibility they need to address their individual rural infrastructure needs,” says the White House. States can spend as much as 100 percent of the funding they receive on improving rural broadband access.
Chao clarified that state governors will decide how to allocate the funds. She testified that the president’s Infrastructure Initiative “includes, but is not limited to, drinking and wastewater, energy, broadband and veterans’ hospitals as well. It is designed to change how infrastructure is designed, built, financed and maintained.” The goal is to stimulate at least $1.5 trillion in infrastructure investment from the private sector. Continue Reading