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August 15, 2017 5:45 PM, EDT
Trump Predicts Democrats Will Support Infrastructure Funding Plan
Trump press conference Pablo Martinez Monsivais

After issuing an executive order to streamline the permitting process for construction projects, President Trump expressed confidence that his yet-to-be unveiled long-term infrastructure funding plan would gain bipartisan backing on Capitol Hill.

“We’ll get the infrastructure. And actually, infrastructure is something that I think we’ll have bipartisan support on,” Trump told reporters at Trump Tower in New York City on Aug. 15 amid a barrage of questions about last weekend’s violence in Charlottesville, Va. “I actually think, I actually think Democrats will go along with the infrastructure [plan].”

Efforts to expedite the construction of big-scale freight projects would boost the economy, Trump argued. He also equated the country’s infrastructure to that of a Third World nation as a way to instill a sense of urgency for building new roads and bridges.

The infrastructure plan Trump promised to unveil within his first 100 days in office will likely be presented to Congress by the end of the year, administration officials have said. Republican transportation authorizers told reporters they expect to take up the proposal next year, after they tackle reforms to the tax code and possibly revisit health care policy.

Top Democrats have rejected the president’s calls to privatize aspects of the transportation network. Facilitating agencies’ access to private capital is the backbone of an outline of the administration’s infrastructure plan. The plan’s goal is to realize $800 billion in private capital with $200 billion of federal funds.