President Trump’s $200-billion infrastructure program will be funded by cutting existing discretionary programs, not by deficit spending, according to White House infrastructure adviser DJ Gribbin. The $20 billion a year of federal spending proposed by Trump would be repurposed investment that would have occurred through existing discretionary programs.
Formula spending programs, mainly the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), will not be scavenged for funds, Gribbin told a meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. He said Trump will remain neutral on a gas tax increase. Without Trump in the lead, there is no chance of overcoming opposition to a gas tax increase from Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Whether the Republican leadership will support user fees other than a gax tax this year remains to be seen.