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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

American farmers are struggling to safely use the roads that cut through their fields; decades of neglect and lack of funding have made the routes dangerous.

The big picture: President Trump has long promised to invest billions in rural infrastructure, and his latest proposal would allocate $1 trillion for such projects. Rural America, where many of Trump's supporters live, would see a large chunk of that money.

The Trump plan includes:

  • $35 billion to repair some of the country's 47,000 bridges, most of which are in rural areas and in poor condition.
  • $25 billion to increase access to broadband, transportation, water and other projects.

How Trump plans to pay for it: The proposal relies entirely on federal funding, rather than a portion coming from states and local government. A large chunk of the money would come from existing fuel tax revenue, AP reports.

  • The big question: It's still unclear how Trump plans to fund the full $1 trillion. He still lacks revenue sources for the $450 billion he's proposing for roads, bridges, public transit and other infrastructure needs, per AP.

Why it matters: Rural America's decaying arteries are unable to handle the weight of large farm equipment or tractor-trailers hauling freight, creating dangerous driving conditions that force some farmers to take miles of detours to get to a destination less than half a mile away, the New York Times reports.

  • The scarce funding forces rural counties to patch stressed routes, rather than repave them, as a more affordable alternative.

National Transportation Research Group highlighted some of rural America's challenges:

  • Streets fail to connect communities locally and nationally.
  • Roads cannot support the growing number of freight trucks traveling across the country.
  • Fatalities are higher on rural roads and bridges because of deterioration and a lack of safety features.

The state of play: 19% of the U.S. population lives in rural areas, but 68% of the country's total lane-miles are in rural America, according to the Department of Transportation.

  • Two-thirds of freight runs begin their journeys in rural America, and traffic continues to increase.
  • A semi-trailer truck can cause 5,000 to 10,000 times more damage to a road than a car, the Times notes.
  • The fatality rate on rural roads is 2.1 times higher than on urban roads, per DOT.

Between the lines: Axios' Alayna Treene reports that Trump and Democrats in Congress are actually closely aligned on the need for improved infrastructure. Left to his own devices, Trump would happily spend federal money on the projects, but his own party is holding him back.

  • Disagreements over how much tax money to allocate for the projects have prevented the Trump administration from getting meaningful legislation passed and have contributed to several "infrastructure week" discussions at the White House.

Meanwhile, passing the broader FY 2021 budget will be an uphill battle for the Trump administration. Democrats are already attacking many of the proposed cuts to domestic programs, particularly reductions to Medicaid, The Washington Post reports.

Go deeper: The rural America death spiral

Go deeper

Former Georgetown tennis coach pleads guilty to accepting admissions bribes

Gordon Ernst (left) former head tennis coach at Georgetown, is pictured outside the John Joseph Moakley United State Courthouse in Boston on March 25, 2019. Photo: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

A former Georgetown University head tennis coach has pleaded guilty Tuesday to bribery charges related to facilitating the admission of prospective applicants.

Why it matters: Gordon Ernst solicited and accepted bribes from William Singer, ringleader of the cheating scheme uncovered by Operation Varsity Blues, and families in exchange for helping prospective applicants get into Georgetown as student athletes, according to the Justice Department.

3 hours ago - Health

CDC says some immunocompromised people can get fourth COVID shot

Photo: Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in updated guidelines Tuesday that some immunocompromised people who have received either Pfizer or Moderna's COVID-19 vaccines will be able to get a fourth shot.

Details: People over 18 who are "moderately to severely immunocompromised" and have received three doses of an mRNA vaccine may get a fourth shot (of either the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines) at least six months after getting their third Pfizer or Moderna dose, per the CDC.

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Biden plan expected to include at least $500B for climate

Photo: Stephanie Keith/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The White House is privately telling lawmakers the climate portion of President Biden's roughly $2 trillion social spending plan is "mostly settled" and will likely cost more than $500 billion, two sources familiar with the talks tell Axios.

Why it matters: A price tag of $500 billion to $555 billion is a huge number and, if it holds, would likely be the single biggest component of the sweeping package. It also isn't far off from the roughly $600 billion proposed when the bill was expected to cost $3.5 trillion.