President Trump hosted a meeting Monday with local and state officials on infrastructure and discussed his $1.7 trillion plan to rebuild the nation's roads and bridges.
Only $200 billion of the $1.7 trillion proposal would come from new federal funding. The White House would offset the new spending with unspecified cuts in other areas of the budget. The rest is expected to come from state and local governments and private investment.
He entered the State Dining Room to standing applause from participants. A number of administration officials, in addition to local officials, attended the meeting including Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, White House chief of staff John Kelly, economic adviser Gary Cohn and Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter.
The president focused first on expressing frustration with Middle East spending and began speaking about boosting military spending.
"We spent $7 trillion in the Middle East," he said. "What a mistake."
Some of the attendees included Wisconsin's Republican Governor Scott Walker, Maine's Republican Governor Paul LePage, Virginia's Democratic Governor Ralph Northam, and New Mexico's Republican Governor Susana Martinez, among others.
The president complained that the U.S. is having a "hard time" getting money to rebuild its roads and bridges. "It's crazy," he said. His plan, he said, could involve up to $1.7 trillion, which he noted is "bigger than people thought."
"We going to get the roads in great shape," he said eventually. "Washington no longer will be a roadblock to progress."
Mr. Trump spoke about immigration negotiations briefly and said, "We would love to do DACA" and that there's a "good chance" of finding a legislative solution to the 2012 program.