NATSO Pleased that Presidential Candidates Support Infrastructure Investment

Although there is not a lot that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton agree on, there is common ground on the state of the nation's roads and bridges. Both presidential candidates have highlighted the need to invest in infrastructure as a way to kickstart economic growth, an issue on which NATSO's government affairs team is a leading voice in Washington. In fact, at NATSO's annual Day-on-the-Hill in May, dozens of truckstop and travel plaza operators from around the country lobbied their members of Congress to pass sustainable, long-term highway funding legislation, emphasizing that this would not only help the truckstop business, but the economy as a whole.

Here's what we know about both candidates' infrastructure policies:

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton has said that she would propose to Congress a $275 billion infrastructure plan in her first 100 days in office. Mrs. Clinton's plan would use new revenue from reforming the corporate tax code to pay for new projects and create a $25 billion infrastructure bank. She also wants to reauthorize the Build America bonds program, which the Obama Administration implemented during its first term as part of the 2009 stimulus program. The program is designed to help facilitate state and local government financing of projects.

"It's a very good sign that Secretary Clinton views infrastructure as important enough to warrant her attention in her first 100 days in office," said David Fialkov, NATSO's Vice President of Government Relations. However, Fialkov added that he would prefer the sources of funding under her proposal to be transportation-related. "Overhauling the corporate tax code is easier said than done, and it's not going to provide a sustainable funding stream into the future. Plus, the Build America Bonds program is a non-starter with most Republicans." Fialkov said he would prefer a raise in the motor fuels excise tax to provide a reliable source of funding for transportation.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump has stated in numerous speeches that he supports a vast infrastructure investment program, promising a "trillion-dollar rebuilding program" to improve the nation's transportation infrastructure. His campaign has not yet released concrete proposals, however. Indeed, House Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA), said on July 18 that not yet offered specifics for how he plans to fix the nation's crumbling infrastructure.

"Donald Trump has said he would support a trillion-dollar infrastructure program, but not exactly said how as of yet," NATSO's Fialkov said. "If and when we see more details from Mr. Trump's campaign NATSO will be able to comment more fully on the specifics, but for now I suppose it's a good sign that he's thinking about it and prioritizing it."

The Republican Party platform, approved at its convention this week, provides some more detail on the Party's thinking with respect to infrastructure investment:

"Securing sufficient funding for the Highway Trust Fund remains a challenge given the debt and deficits and the need to reduce spending," the platform states. "Republicans will make hard choices and set priorities, and infrastructure will be among them. In some States with elected officials dominated by the Democratic Party, a proportion of highway funds is diverted to other purposes. This must stop. We oppose any funding mechanism that would involve governmental monitoring of every car and truck in the nation."

David Fialkov's photo

David Fialkov

David Fialkov is the Vice President of Government Relations, as well as the Legislative and Regulatory Counsel, at NATSO. In this capacity, Mr. Fialkov directs NATSO's legislative, regulatory, and legal strategy on a range of issues, including transportation, energy and fuels, labor, data security, and taxes. Mr. Fialkov also oversees NATSO's political engagement program, including individualized legal and political counsel to member companies. Prior to joining NATSO, Mr. Fialkov was the senior associate in the Government Affairs and Public Policy practice at the law firm of Steptoe and Johnson in Washington, D.C. At Steptoe, Mr. Fialkov advised clients on legislative, regulatory, and political issues, as well as legal concerns. His primary clients included trade associations representing the motor fuel wholesale and retail industries, including the National Association of Convenience Stores and the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America. Mr. Fialkov's focus was not only on the motor fuels business, but also the litany of other issues that retailers confront, including labor matters, foodservice issues, healthcare and employment issues, tax matters and data security. Prior to joining Steptoe, Mr. Fialkov graduated with honors from George Washington University Law School. He received his B.S. Summa cum laude with highest honors from Clark University in Worcester, MA. He lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife Allison and daughter Lilah. More
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