Trump’s budget: $3.5 billion to fix Puerto Rico’s crumbling infrastructure

President Donald Trump’s plan to address the crisis on the island of Puerto Rico calls for $3 billion in spending for a $1.6 billion bridge over the Atlantic Ocean, construction of a bridge over a bay, and $3 million in repairs to the Puerto Rican government’s water, sewer, and power infrastructure. Read MoreIn a statement, the…

Published by admin inJune 13, 2021
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President Donald Trump’s plan to address the crisis on the island of Puerto Rico calls for $3 billion in spending for a $1.6 billion bridge over the Atlantic Ocean, construction of a bridge over a bay, and $3 million in repairs to the Puerto Rican government’s water, sewer, and power infrastructure. 

Read MoreIn a statement, the Trump administration said that the administration has proposed a package of $3,732 billion in federal spending that would create 2.7 million jobs over the next decade. 

It’s also called for $2.2 billion in new federal aid for the island, $2 billion to upgrade schools, $1 billion for an economic development program for the city of San Juan, and the creation of more than 800,000 jobs in manufacturing, transportation, and tourism. 

The proposal is meant to address “the acute crisis on Puerto Rico,” Trump said in a statement. 

But it’s unclear how many jobs could be created under Trump’s proposal. 

“The president has called for the reconstruction of infrastructure, but the proposal does not provide specific spending on that,” said John C. Calhoun, the president of the American Public Transportation Association, which has advocated for the administration’s plan. 

What does the plan include? 

The White House proposal calls for a major overhaul of the public transportation system, including the elimination of a federal tax on tolls that would have been imposed on vehicles using federal roads. 

That tax, which Trump proposed in March, was estimated to cost $2 trillion over 10 years. 

Also on the list are: • An increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour, an increase in Medicare payments to the elderly and disabled, and an increase to food stamps for people without dependents. 

• $2,000 for teachers, $200 for public school teachers, and a $300-a-week cash assistance program for low-income workers. 

(This $300 is the maximum that would be paid out to the public schools for every teacher that has been in the classroom for five years.) 

• A $1 million stimulus for public universities, a $500 million increase in Pell Grants for low and moderate-income students, and support for the expansion of renewable energy. 

Why are there so many things in the proposal? 

Trump’s administration is asking Congress to approve the proposal on March 6. 

And a recent report from the Trump Transition Team said that Congress could pass the package before the end of March. 

In the interim, Trump will take up the issue of Puerto Rican debt, which will be a major focus of his presidency. 

He will likely announce the next steps in his administration’s response to the crisis at a press conference on March 8. 

Trump also is expected to announce his budget for fiscal 2018. 

Here’s a rundown of what you need to know about Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget proposal:  Read moreTrump’s budget proposal would include $2 million for schools, infrastructure, and other programs to be funded through a tax credit program that would offset part of the cost of schools, but it would also require an increase for other programs. 

Specifically, the budget proposes $1,500 per student for the first year of school, $500 per year for a two-year school, and to $2 for students who have to attend school for at least six months, and who earn less than $150,000. 

More: A new Trump budget would eliminate the corporate tax and would boost infrastructure spending by $3 trillion over the course of his term. 

Puerto Rico has a $71 billion debt that will be paid off with a 20 percent interest rate on bonds issued by the Puerto Rico Public Bank. 

According to the Wall Street Review of Fiscal Year 2018, the cost to the island is about $17 billion a year. 

 The government says it expects to make $1 trillion in payments to Puerto Rico through 2019. 

President Trump’s Puerto Rico budget is expected before Congress on March 10. 

This article has been updated to include a link to a press release from the American Community Survey. 

Follow Josh on Twitter at @joshgrafman

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