Alaska GOP senator: Trump's massive infrastructure plan may help underserved rural states like mine

  • A portion of Trump's massive infrastructure proposal will help to develop America's rural states such as Alaska, Sen. Dan Sullivan says.
  • The Alaska senator also believes there's an opportunity for a bipartisan-supported infrastructure plan that includes permitting reform.

A portion of President Donald Trump's massive infrastructure proposal could help to develop America's rural states such as Alaska, Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan told CNBC on Monday.

Trump's infrastructure proposal, set to be unveiled Monday, includes $50 billion for rural infrastructure projects, which would be distributed to states in the form of block grants.

"Certain states that don't have big populations can't always have the toll roads," Sullivan, who sits on the Senate's Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, told CNBC's "Squawk Box." Tolls typically help recoup the cost of construction and maintenance.

"There's going to be a set aside of about 25 percent in this proposal for rural states," the Alaska senator added.

Sullivan said there's an opportunity for a bipartisan-supported infrastructure plan that includes reform of the permitting process. He has introduced a bill that would include setting a time limit on federal permit reviews. He said this will give the private sector incentives to invest.

Sullivan characterized the United States' current permitting system as "broken."

"Every mayor, every governor, sees these problems," Sullivan said. He added he is in support of "some" federal infrastructure spending but no more than $200 billion. Trump plans on using $200 billion in federal money over 10 years.

"The White House has been working this on the Senate and the Hill for months," Sullivan said. "Hopefully, we're going to see a good reaction when these principles are announced by the White House today."

Since his campaign, Trump has stated the U.S. needs a big boost infrastructure spending.

In a tweet Monday, he called for infrastructure investments.

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