Billionaire behind the 'Need to Impeach' effort blasts Trump's infrastructure vision

Key Points
  • Former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer doesn't think the president's plan offers a smart investment vision.
  • The billionaire Democrat would like to see a "smart" plan that upgrades the nation's power grid as well as improves broadband internet access.
Democratic mega-donor Tom Steyer on Trump's infrastructure plan

Billionaire political activist and ex-hedge fund manager Tom Steyer on Monday blasted President Donald Trump's vision for overhauling the nation's aging infrastructure.

Steyer, the Democratic megadonor behind the "Need to Impeach" Trump effort, said the $200 billion in federal infrastructure spending that's being talked about by the White House won't create jobs or boost the economy.

"Making an investment in of itself isn't a good thing," Steyer told CNBC's "Squawk Alley." "What's a good thing is a smart investment, things that actually move the country forward."

Earlier Monday, the White House unveiled Trump's long-awaited infrastructure plan that includes $200 billion in federal funding over a decade to incentivize new projects in hopes of stimulating $1.5 trillion in new investment.

Steyer said Trump's plan could move the U.S. backward. The billionaire, who said he had not read the current infrastructure bill in full, was particularly critical of a provision in the White House plan that would streamline the environmental permitting process to accommodate a wide range of infrastructure projects.

"Getting rid of environmental protections that ensure people's health and longevity. Is that a good investment?" he asked. "That doesn't sound like a good investment to me." Instead, Steyer said he would like to see a bipartisan infrastructure bill that massively upgrades the nation's power grid as well as improves broadband internet access.

The infrastructure bill "has to be sustainable," he said. "We've got to build a clean infrastructure that will let this country compete successfully for decades to come and be the source of innovation and job creation that we've always been."

Steyer, founder and president of NextGen America, launched a digital petition in October calling for Trump's impeachment. It's been signed by nearly 4 million people, according to the petition website.

Last month, Steyer also said he would push $30 million into an effort to boost millennial voter turnout in this year's midterm elections to help Democrats take over the House.