SALEM, Ore. -- President Trump released his proposal for jumpstarting US infrastructure today, before telling the press that the issue would ultimately be Congress' responsibility.
The plan calls for $1.5 trillion in spending, only $200 billion of which would be federal money, gleaned from cuts to existing federal programs and distributed in the form of grants for local construction projects. The over $1 trillion remainder would need to come from the state and local governments themselves. The president also claimed that his plan would include attempts to reduce potential roadblocks to project permits.
In a meeting with state and local officials, President Trump seemed ambivalent about the proposal's fate. "'If you want it badly, you're going to get it. And if you don't want it, that's okay with me too,'" the Associated Press quoted the president as saying.
Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR) issued a statement this afternoon in response to the infrastructure proposal, calling it "'embarassingly small.'" DeFazio said that the proposal would involve cuts of more than $168 billion from existing transportation and infrastructure programs—including Federal highways and Amtrak rail—and redistribute the money to private investors. He also claimed that the proposal would "'gut'" environmental protections in order to streamline permitting processes.
The statement from DeFazio's office mentioned a counter-proposal from Democrats, which would be "'five times bigger'" that President Trump's proposal.
DeFazio represents Oregon's 4th District, which includes Coos, Curry, Douglas, Lane, Linn and most of Benton and Josephine counties.