A senior administration official insisted the plan was not shifting responsibilities to the states.
The first is that the country has been under-investing in infrastructure, leading a state of growing disrepair.
A poll administration officials cited from September found 84% of Americans think the country needs infrastructure investment.
The plan would make numerous other changes to the approval processes, but the White House official said the administration would not ask for changes to the major provisions of signature environmental laws, such as the Endangered Species Act or the Clean Water Act.
Mulvaney, appearing on "Fox News Sunday", said the president's budget road map will set spending caps across several federal agencies, but also will restore money to the State Department and Environmental Protection Agency that administration officials originally set out to cut.
The US$1.5 trillion will come from a range of incentives and instruments in which government funding will play a lesser role than they do now, instead being used to match and leverage local funding.
What might get more traction is Trump's efforts to streamline the federal approval process for infrastructure projects, which can sometimes stretch out for a decade or more for large projects. It subsidizes up to 80 percent of the cost of federal highways, and even many of its subsidized loan programs are tailored for megaprojects. But they could get help building those projects more quickly. Again, this plan puts a much greater burden on local taxpayers and users.
⦁ Target invest in rural infrastructure such as broadband internet service with $50 billion in block grants to states.
And $20 billion would go to federal loan programs that are aimed at attracting private investment in infrastructure, and into private activity bonds.
Just $200 billion of the proposed spending would be in federal dollars, which the official said would come from "reductions in other areas of the budget". These would be "projects that can lift the American spirit, that are the next-century-type of infrastructure as opposed to just rebuilding what we have now". But Trump's incentive funding is projected to provide 10% or 20% of a project's cost to generate $500 billion to $1 trillion in total investment, according to senior administration officials.
The White House got a more enthusiastic response than expected from state governments, prompting Mr. Trump to up the goal from the original $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion from the same $200 billion federal payout.
A senior administration official added that DJ Gribbin, Gary Cohn, the team at the NEC, and White House Office of Legislative Affairs have all worked on the infrastructure issue. "We do have a chance still to change this [debt] trajectory". "So to the extent that communities are eligible for federal funds already, that eligibility remains". He pointed to Los Angeles, where voters decided in 2016 to extend a sales tax indefinitely to pay for transportation improvements, and to more than two dozen states that have raised their fuel taxes in recent years.
The remaining $100 billion involves $50 billion for rural project grants distributed to all states, $30 billion for government financing of projects and $20 billion toward "transformative projects" or new ideas that are not simply repairing existing infrastructure.
The Trump administration says it wants to shorten the time and expense of getting federal permits by consolidating the reviews conducted by different agencies into "one federal decision", with one agency taking the lead on evaluating a project.
President Trump will outline some of these principles in a meeting with mayors and other state and local leaders at the White House Monday.
It was the second shutdown this year under the Republican-controlled Congress and Trump, who played little role in attempts by party leaders this week to end months of fiscal squabbling.
Mr. Trump wants to fix not just roads and airports but also a federal system for building and maintaining infrastructure that is "fundamentally broken", said senior White House advisers who gave reporters a preview of the plan.
"This is in no way, shape or form. a take it or leave it proposal", said one senior administration official.
Trump also wrote that negotiations will "start now!" on an immigration measure that he and Democrats have been battling over for months.