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Infrastructure Spending To Take a Back Seat to Security Spending in Donald Trump’s Budget Message

in Congress/Infrastructure/Public Safety by

WASHINGTON, February 28, 2017 – Plans to include broadband in a massive new infrastructure will probably take a back seat to President Trump’s security and physical infrastructure priorities in the budget blueprint he will describe during his maiden speech to a joint session of Congress tonight, multiple sources have told Broadband Breakfast News.

While broadband has been talked about as a part of the possibly trillion-dollar infrastructure package being floated as a signature Trump project for getting America back to work, his budget proposal will only deal with national security matters by increasing spending on them by 54 billion dollars, a senior White House official said.

“The overall top line…will be conformed with what the President is directing [Office of Management and Budget] Director Mulvaney to write a budget in accordance with which would be to fulfill all the promises from the campaign and to make this a security budget, increasing defense by $54 billion or 10 percent and having a corresponding reduction in non-defense spending by $54 billion,” the official said. “We will increase security and we will decrease lower-priority programs, most federal agencies will see a reduction as a result.”

Such priorities in defense spending are unlikely to include any sort of infrastructure investment other than in military bases, the official said, describing infrastructure as a “lower-priority program.”

Because of the specificity of the budget blueprint, Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress will be focused on recounting promises to the American people, a second senior White House official said.

Such promises are likely to include what Trump will describe as jobs proposals, but not construction jobs for public works or infrastructure. The official said it is more likely that Trump’s speech, which is being written by the same team that wrote his bombastic inaugural address, will focus on his efforts to keep corporations from moving jobs overseas and to bring back American manufacturing and coal mining — what the official called “renewal of the American spirit — an optimistic vision for all Americans.”

“This address will be grounded firmly in solving real problems for real people,” the official said, “addressing the daily challenges faced by people across the country. Americans have been waiting help from their leaders for too long, and during his speech the President will let them know that help is on the way.”

(Photo on Hong Kong by Ateens Chen)

Andrew Feinberg rejoined BroadbandBreakfast.com as Managing Editor in late 2016 after working as a staff writer at The Hill and as a freelance writer. He worked at BroadbandBreakfast.com from its founding in 2008 to 2010, first as Reporter and then as Deputy Editor. In addition to covering the White House for Russia's Sputnik News - and from which he publicly departed - he has covered tech and telecommunications policy in Congress and at federal agencies for Communications Daily, FastCompany.TV, Mashable and Washington Business Journal.

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