Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), Chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, said Congressional work on President Trump’s $1 trillion infrastructure package may be pushed until early next year as lawmakers focus on healthcare and tax reform and a bevy of other must-pass bills in the coming months.
In speaking with reporters, Sen. Thune said Congress continues to wait on more formal direction from the White House regarding its infrastructure proposal. He added that it would be hard to transact legislation requiring a significant amount of floor time in light of the current legislative calendar.
In meetings with NATSO staff the week of June 30, several members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee also indicated that a massive infrastructure package was unlikely in 2017. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee continues to focus on passing Federal aviation legislation and by late summer Congress will turn its attention to appropriations as the Federal government’s fiscal year ends Sept. 30.
Although the Trump Administration has yet to unveil a detailed infrastructure proposal, the Administration in May released a 2018 budget proposal that included recommendations to change federal law in a manner that would harm the truckstop and travel plaza industry.
Specifically, the budget proposal indicated that the Trump Administration would like to “liberalize tolling policy and allow private investment in rest areas,” both of which NATSO strongly opposes.
NATSO and its industry partners, including members of the Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates, continue to meet with lawmakers to educate them about the negative impact that tolls and commercial rest areas will have on the business community, consumers, local towns and communities and safety.
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