President Trump’s long-awaited infrastructure plan requires selling off federal government interests in the two main Washington, DC, area airports.
Ronald Reagan Washington National and Dulles International airports have been targeted for potential divestiture under the plan released Monday.
“The Federal Government owns and operates certain infrastructure that would be more appropriately owned by State, local, or private entities,” the plan says.
Also targeted for potential sale are two main DC car thoroughfares, the George Washington Memorial Parkway and Baltimore-Washington Parkway, as well as the Washington Aqueduct, which provides the general public water supply to the district.
Beyond Washington, Trump is eyeing the sale of the Bonneville Power Administration and transmission assets at the Southwestern Power Administration, Western Area Power Administration and Tennessee Valley Authority.
Federal agencies must research the potential sales and show a benefit to taxpayers.
Dulles and Reagan airports are owned by the federal authorities however operated by the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority under a lease. The airport authority was created by DC, Maryland and Virginia with the blessing of Congress.
Other elements of Trump’s plan aim to spur $1.5 trillion in infrastructure growth by spending just $200 billion in federal money by relying closely on state, local and private entities for funding.
“We’re going to get the roads in great shape,” Trump instructed state and local leaders at the White House on Monday. “… Washington no longer will be a roadblock to progress.”
The largest pot of cash for state and local governments is $100 billion in so-called incentive grants. But the federal share of the undertaking should not exceed 20 % of the full price, that means local partners must come up with most of the cash.
Trump on Monday compared rebuilding the nation to his completion of the Wollman skating rink in Central Park in 1986 after it was mired in delays.
“I said, ‘I’d like to be able to have my daughter Ivanka [ice skate],’” Trump recalled. “And I got involved and I did it in a few months and we did it at a tiny fraction, a tiny fraction, of the cost. And it’s really no different with a roadway or a bridge or tunnel or any of the things that will be fixed.”
The Chamber of Commerce applauded Trump’s vision, however called for a 25-cent-a-gallon hike in the gas tax to fund infrastructure.
Democrats complained the Trump plan doesn’t spend enough, whereas Republicans — after passing a $1.5 trillion tax bill in December and last week growing defense and domestic programs by $300 billion — are leery of extra spending.
The American Society of Civil Engineers stated the US will need to make investments $4.59 trillion by 2025 to repair the nation’s crumbling infrastructure.