The White House budget proposed Thursday strips infrastructure funding from federal agencies to divert funds to a forthcoming executive branch infrastructure plan, according to Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget.
"We believe those programs to be less effective than the package we're currently working on," Mulvaney said, calling such cuts "line-item reductions."
The administration's approach lowers or cuts entirely funding for projects deemed to have regional benefits, in order to increase funding to those with national scope. Among the priorities that fall into the latter category are investments in the nation's power grid, cybersecurity efforts and "environmentally responsible development of energy on public lands."
The biggest infrastructure programs currently sit within the Department of Transportation, which repairs highways, bridges and airports, and the Army Corps of Engineers, which maintains the country's inland waterways.
The "skinny" budget proposal released Thursday proposed a $1 billion cut to funding for the Army Corps of Engineers — amount to a 16.3 percent reduction. The White House also suggested significantly cutting Department of Transportation programs, and ending funding for so-called TIGER grants that pay for discretionary road and rail projects.