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Global Glance: Trump infrastructure plan relies on state, local funding; General Dynamics to buy CSRA for almost $7 billion



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Here are today’s top business headlines from across the nation and world:

Trump infrastructure plan relies on state, local funding

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Monday launched a “big week” for his long-awaited infrastructure plan, which envisions spurring $1.5 trillion in spending over a decade to rebuild roads and highways. The plan would fulfill some Trump campaign goals but rely heavily on state and local government for much of the funding. The administration’s plan is centered on using $200 billion in federal money to leverage local and state tax dollars to fix America’s infrastructure, such as roads, highways, ports and airports. Read more

General Dynamics to buy CSRA for almost $7 billion

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) — The defense contractor General Dynamics will spend almost $7 billion to acquire CSRA with the Trump administration pushing defense spending aggressively higher. Shares of CSRA Inc., an internet technology company, soared more than 31 percent before the opening bell Monday. President Donald Trump signed a budget bill on Friday that provides $700 billion for the Pentagon, giving it $94 billion more this budget year to spend on troops, training, ships and other hardware. It’s the biggest year-over-year windfall since the budget soared by 26.6 percent in 2003, when the nation was fighting in Afghanistan, invading Iraq and expanding national defense after the 9/11 attacks. Read more

Money spent on lobbying skyrocketed during tax overhaul

WASHINGTON (AP) — Money spent on lobbying by corporations, trade associations and special interest groups spiked during the final three months of 2017 as they battled for the biggest breaks possible in the most dramatic tax overhaul in more than 30 years. The figures for the heavyweights are eye-popping. The National Association of Realtors tallied $22.2 million between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, according to newly filed disclosure reports. That’s double what the organization spent in the third quarter on lobbying activities. The Business Roundtable spent $17.3 million in the fourth quarter, nearly quadruple the amount over the three previous months, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reported spending $16.8 million, a $3.7 million increase. Read more

Trump’s $4 trillion budget helps move deficit sharply higher

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is proposing a $4 trillion-plus budget for next year that projects a $1 trillion or so federal deficit and — unlike the plan he released last year — never comes close to promising a balanced federal ledger even after 10 years. And that’s before last week’s $300 billion budget pact is added this year and next, showering both the Pentagon and domestic agencies with big increases. The spending spree, along with last year’s tax cuts, has the deficit moving sharply higher with Republicans in control of Washington. Read more

Amtrak bears the cost of accidents even if not at fault

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal investigators are still looking at how CSX railway crews routed an Amtrak train into a parked freight train in Cayce, South Carolina, last weekend. But even if CSX should bear sole responsibility for the accident, Amtrak will likely end up paying crash victims’ legal claims with public money. Amtrak pays for accidents it didn’t cause because of secretive agreements negotiated between the passenger rail company, which receives more than $1 billion annually in federal subsidies, and the private railroads, which own 97 percent of the tracks on which Amtrak travels. Both Amtrak and freight railroads that own the tracks fight to keep those contracts secret in legal proceedings. But whatever the precise legal language, plaintiffs’ lawyers and former Amtrak officials say Amtrak generally bears the full cost of damages to its trains, passengers, employees and other crash victims — even in instances where crashes occurred as the result of a freight rail company’s negligence or misconduct. Read more

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