February 2018

Transportation Noted in the President’s State of the Union Address 

By  Kevan Stone

       NACo Associate Legislative Director


President Trump delivered on January 30th his State of the Union Address,

In the days and weeks ahead, NACo looks forward to Congress' response to the President's request for legislation meant to, according to President Trump's remarks, spur $1.5 trillion in infrastructure investment. 

Following the Address, the White Hose released the below "fact sheet" (a White House term used to disseminate information from their website) expanding some of the statements made by President Trump.  

As you can see, while this is not a "plan", it does contain information we have been reporting on for some time.  Additionally, it would seem to confirm at least some of the information obtained in the leaked document from a few weeks ago, namely the percentage breakdown of new funds for projects (50%) and rural infrastructure (25%). 

As we rebuild our industries, it is also time to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure.
    President Donald J. Trump


American infrastructure has fallen behind due to years of inaction and a broken permitting system.

The United States ranks tenth in the world in terms of quality of overall infrastructure, according to the World Economic Forum.

One out of every five miles of U.S. highway pavement is in poor condition.

Americans spent an estimated 6.9 billion hours delayed in traffic in 2014, or 42 hours per driver.

One third of America’s bridges are 50 years or older.

There are an estimated 240,000 water main breaks every year in the U.S.

Red tape has held back American infrastructure investment.

  • The median time to complete an environmental review process of complex highway projects is at least 7 years, according to a 2014 report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

REBUILDING AMERICA: President Donald J. Trump’s plan will renew our country’s once-great infrastructure and help build a more prosperous future for all Americans.

President Trump’s proposal will generate at least $1 trillion in infrastructure investment over the next decade.

  • This investment in American infrastructure will raise wages and improve quality of life for the American people.

President Trump is putting forward a long-term solution that builds off of strong partnerships between Federal, state, tribal, and local authorities.

  • Half of the new infrastructure funds would go towards incentivizing new state and local investments in infrastructure.
  • President Trump’s plan will empower state and local authorities to prioritize infrastructure projects based on their community’s needs.

This plan will eliminate unnecessary redundancies and inefficiencies in the regulatory and permitting process that are holding back American infrastructure development.

The President’s plan will address the infrastructure needs of rural America.

  • A quarter of the Federal funds will be dedicated to addressing rural infrastructure needs prioritized by state and local leaders.
  • These funds will go towards rebuilding roads, providing clean water to rural families and businesses, expanding broadband access, and supplying affordable, reliable power.

President Trump’s proposal will encourage the development of new, transformative infrastructure projects.

BUILDING OFF OF YEAR ONE: President Trump will continue to build off of the action his Administration took in its first year to improve American infrastructure.

On August 15, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order to streamline the environmental review and permitting process for major infrastructure projects. 

  • The Executive Order established a two-year goal for the environmental review process.

In his first year in office, President Trump approved key infrastructure projects such as the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines.

President Trump’s Rural Prosperity Task Force released a report detailing recommendations as to how the Administration can promote a more prosperous future for rural America.

On January 8, 2018, President Trump signed an Executive Order on Streamlining and Expediting Requests to Locate Broadband Facilities in Rural America.

President Trump’s Department of Agriculture (USDA) has already begun investing in infrastructure projects in rural America. 

  • On January 19, 2018, the USDA announced it is awarding 72 grants totaling $23.6 million for equipment that uses broadband internet to increase access to educational and health services for rural Americans.
  • President Trump’s Department of Agriculture has announced that it will invest more than $200 million to help improve broadband access in rural areas.
  • In FY 2017, the USDA invested more than $40 million in infrastructure improvement projects in rural communities.

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