The next 10 weeks — up until Congress's August Recess — could be one of the most intense, consequential periods of policymaking that the travel center industry has confronted in many years. The House of Representatives is pursuing a more aggressive, climate-focused infrastructure bill that could include corporate tax increases and be passed on a party-line vote. In the Senate, a more bipartisan approach focusing on traditional "roads and bridges" infrastructure is being negotiated.
Republican senators led by Senate Environment and Public Works Ranking Member Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV) are set again to meet with President Biden May 18 to present an update of their $568 billion infrastructure plan. This plan will not include any tax increases, and could prompt some back-and-forth negotiating. There will be important signals as to whether a bipartisan approach to infrastructure is possible. The White House is signaling a willingness to test the waters of bipartisanship for a few more weeks before potentially opting for a Democrat-only budget reconciliation bill. Republicans have drawn a line in the sand on tax increases, and President Biden and Speaker Pelosi have suggested increased tax enforcement and "user fees" (likely fuel tax hikes coupled with EV fees) could be an area of common ground.
If there's a bipartisan deal on transportation, a second, all-Democrat bill with social welfare elements of Biden's agenda and tax increases could be pursued under reconciliation later this year.
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