Lawmakers Expect Infrastructure Guidelines After State of the Union

The Trump Administration is expected to delay its timetable for unveiling infrastructure guidelines until after the State of the Union, lawmakers said Jan. 11.

It had been widely anticipated that the President would release an infrastructure principles document before Jan. 30. Speculation about a delay began however after mixed signals emerged from the recent Presidential retreat at Camp David.

During the retreat, President Trump reportedly told Republican leaders that using public-private partnerships would not be an effective way to fund infrastructure. White House Chief Economic Adviser Gary Cohn continues to discuss their use, however.

Following a meeting with Administration officials about the infrastructure plan Jan. 11, Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) said he did not anticipate a written proposal until after the State of the Union address.

Since his campaign, President Trump has pledged to invest $1 trillion to rebuild the nation’s roads, bridges and airports, but so far the Administration has released few details as to how such a massive plan would be paid for.

Although it remains to be seen what the guidelines contain, the White House has previously indicated that $200 billion will come from direct federal spending, with the remaining $800 billion coming from state, local and private sources.

NATSO believes that the Federal government must maintain a strong role in the nation’s infrastructure policy and that the most sustainable and efficient mechanism for generating revenues for the Highway Trust Fund is the motor fuels excise tax.

The President expressed support for public-private partnerships when he issued his 2018 budget proposal, which called for liberalizing tolling policy and commercial rest areas. But he has since indicated that he is less excited about P3s.

The Administration continues to discuss "asset recycling," however, which could very easily lead to tolling and rest area commercialization, both of which NATSO strongly opposes as they would harm all businesses operating near the Interstate. Implemented by the Australian Government, asset recycling funds new infrastructure and revitalizes existing infrastructure through the sale or lease of public assets


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