Alliance completes infrastructure testimony for Congress
The Trump Administration released its long-awaited 55-page infrastructure plan today. The Family Farm Alliance today also transmitted its written testimony to the House Committee on Natural Resources – Water, Power & Oceans Subcommittee for inclusion in the record of a hearing set for February 14 on the state of the nation’s water and hydropower infrastructure.
“Many communities of the West – as well as the farms and ranches they are intertwined with – owe their very existence, in large part, to the certainty provided by water stored and delivered by the Bureau of Reclamation and other state and local water storage projects,” said Alliance Executive Director Dan Keppen. “The federal government has an enduring role in water supply infrastructure development and management that, consistent with state water laws, includes working with local water managers on both a policy and operational level and, in partnership with them, providing support for their efforts to secure a stable and sustainable water supply.”
Read the complete Alliance testimony here.
The Trump plan is structured around six principles, including: generating $1.5 trillion for an infrastructure proposal; streamlining the permitting process down to two years; investing in rural infrastructure projects; and advancing workforce training.
The Administration is proposing a $200 billion direct federal investment for the package, which will be included in the White House’s FY 2019 budget request. Half of the federal seed money would go toward an incentive program to match financing from state and local governments investing in rebuilding projects, while a quarter of the appropriations would be used for rural projects in the form of block grants to states so governors may decide where to invest. The block grants would allot $20 billion for “transformative programs” meant for new projects rather than rehabilitation of old infrastructure. Another $20 billion is meant to expand the use of loans and private activity bonds, while the last $10 billion would go into a “capital financing fund.”
The allotted $200 billion comes from cuts within the impending White House budget.