- Document attempts to help fulfill one of Trump's campaign pledges
- Transportation Secretary Chao said the president will release principles for infrastructure investment over the next few weeks
- Relationship with Congress has become more complicated over the last week
President Donald Trump's advisory committee on infrastructure submitted a one-page proposal last week outlining a broad plan for generating $1 trillion in investment over the next decade, according to a source familiar with the document.
The document attempts to fill one of Trump's key campaign pledges for boosting economic growth. The committee sent it to the White House on Friday, the person said, and it resembles the single page of bullet points that the administration released last month on tax reform.
Included in the one-page proposal was recommendation to establish an infrastructure "bank" to help vet and fund projects.
On Monday, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao promised that the president would be releasing his principles for infrastructure investment within the next few weeks. Another source familiar with the process said the administration hopes Congress will draft legislation by the third quarter.
"We are fortunate to have a president who understands the challenges of infrastructure, perhaps more than any other leader in recent memory," Chao during a conference at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to kick off Infrastructure Week, a meeting of business executives and labor leaders. "He has made revitalizing, repairing and rebuilding our country's infrastructure one of his top priorities."
Those priorities have been jeopardized, however, by turmoil in the White House over the past week that is testing relationships with the Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill who will have to turn the administration's goals into legislative reality. The firing of FBI Director James Comey, swirling questions of the campaign relationship with Russia and reports that Trump divulged classified information during a closed meeting with Russian officials all threaten to delay — and potentially derail — the president's economic agenda.
Key lawmakers from both parties have criticized the White House in recent days, though the administration hopes that infrastructure will be a topic of bipartisan agreement. Chao acknowledged Monday that public-private partnerships will not work in every community, particularly rural areas where investors may not receive significant returns on investment — easing the concerns of Democrats and even some Republicans.
Chao also said that a few "special projects" might qualify for full federal funding. However, she said the government would prioritize projects for which state and local jurisdictions have already identified at least some financing. Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney has said that the White House intends to use $200 billion in federal funding to leverage much larger private investment.
A senior administration official said the White House is still considering using money from repatriated foreign earnings to pay for the plan.