The White House said that the unveiling of President Donald Trump’s infrastructure proposal would again be delayed, citing the recent government shutdown. The announcement came just one day after the President said that his plan would arrive “in a week or two, right after the State of the Union Address.”
"Certain realities of the legislative calendar — such as the Schumer Shutdown — have caused a slight delay in the public roll out of his plan, but he looks forward to sharing it with the American people in the coming weeks as he said in his remarks to mayors at the White House earlier this month," a White House official told reporters on Jan. 31.
During his first State of the Union address President Trump called on Congress to produce a bipartisan $1.5 trillion bill for new infrastructure investment. The $1.5 trillion figure marked a significant increase from the $1 trillion plan that the President has promised since the campaign.
During the State of the Union, the President spoke at a high level about his vision for an infrastructure plan, but gave no insight into how such a massive bill would be paid for.
President Trump reiterated his clear intent to shift responsibility for financing infrastructure projects from the federal government to the states and private sector, stating that every federal dollar should be leveraged by partnering with state and local governments and that where appropriate the U.S. should tap private sector investment to permanently fix the infrastructure deficit.
The President also called for streamlining the permitting and approval process to no more than two years.
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.
NATSO has long supported increasing the nation’s motor fuels taxes to fund infrastructure and has urged the Administration to seek sustainable solutions to funding infrastructure that don’t harm American businesses and highway users.
A document leaked in mid-January and widely speculated to be the funding principles for the Administration’s forthcoming infrastructure proposal specifically called for allowing states more flexibility to toll on interstates and would give states the ability to redirect those tolling revenues for transportation projects other than for the roads on which they were collected. It further called for providing states with the ability to commercialize interstate rest areas.
NATSO strongly opposes the tolling of existing interstates and commercial rest areas, both of which harm businesses, local communities and consumers.
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