Last Updated Feb 14, 2018 12:28 PM EST
President Trump met with a group of bipartisan members of Congress at the White House on Wednesday to push his administration's pricey infrastructure plan. He called the group of Republicans and Democrats a "very capable group" and expects further meetings down the line to hash out a plan of execution for his infrastructure framework.
During the meeting in the Cabinet Room, Mr. Trump once again pushed his "America First" agenda, bemoaning spending costs in the Middle East where he says the U.S. had spend $7 trillion.
"The money we've spent overseas not to mention in the Middle East, where as of two months ago we spent seven trillion dollars and yet if we have to fix a road we can't fix it, if we have to fix a tunnel we don't do it because we don't have the money we spend 7 trillion in the Middle East, it's ridiculous.
The presidenton Monday to discuss the urgency 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.
During Wednesday's meeting, Mr. Trump called his administration's plan one of the "biggest and boldest initiatives in at least a half a century."
Beyond rebuilding the nation's roadways and bridges, the president said the country can look forward to a fast permitting process, moving from 10 years to 2, $50 billion for rural infrastructure including broadband internet access and workforce initiative investments.
Mr. Trump said he spoke with Japan's Shinzo Abe where he had suggested he "invest more and open up more plants."
"A number of plants are coming in to Michigan and other states but we want them to bring in more, he said they will do that," Mr. Trump added.
While much of the administration's messaging on infrastructure has been lost in the fray as the West Wing grapples with the fallout over former staff secretary Rob Porter's resignation, the president ignored questions shouted by reporters at the Wednesday meeting into details surrounding Porter's security clearance.
CBS News' Emily Tillett and Kathryn Watson contributed to this report.