House Committee to Craft Infrastructure Framework

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will start working on a framework for an infrastructure bill after the August recess, Congressman Sam Graves (R-Mo.) said May 22, effectively confirming that an infrastructure bill won’t move in earnest before 2019.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will start working on a framework for an infrastructure bill after the August recess but major action on an infrastructure package won't come before 2019. 

Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), who is set to retire at the end of his current term, reportedly is working to unveil an infrastructure bill this summer.

Congressman Sam Graves (R-Mo.) told reporters May 22 that the T&I Committee would begin work after August recess to bring together lawmakers' "ideas, thoughts, basic concepts, things that we need to be doing, national things." Rep. Graves said that he would like to see lawmakers work on uniformity of road markings and signage as autonomous vehicles increasingly use roadways.

That same afternoon, Senate Commerce Chairman John Thune told reporters that "it's unlikely that anything gets done this year" regarding infrastructure.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) said earlier this year that he would prefer to move a series of small infrastructure bills rather than one large package in the wake of the longstanding effort to reauthorize a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) bill.

The lawmakers' comments were made just one week after 60 of NATSO’s members met with their elected officials on Capitol Hill to advocate for long-term, sustainable infrastructure funding, including a federal motor fuels tax increase, and urging lawmakers to reject proposals that would harm off-highway businesses and communities, such as tolling or commercial rest areas. 

The Trump Administration issued a framework for a $1.5 trillion infrastructure package in February. Those guidelines, however, failed to address the solvency of the Highway Trust Fund. Instead, the framework relies heavily on private financing for funding infrastructure.

NATSO thinks it is imperative that the federal government maintain its strong national role in infrastructure development, and not relinquish its responsibility to the states or the private sector.

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