One of his highest priorities is to advance a legislative package to generate at least $1 trillion in public and private investment across a broad definition of infrastructure. While no specifics have been announced, the Trump administration continues to indicate infrastructure remains a top priority with a potential for a specific proposal before the fall. Congressional Democrats support such a large investment in our infrastructure, and Republican leadership in the House and Senate have grown more open to an infrastructure package since President Trump was elected.
While the Administration is still developing its infrastructure package, there has been an indication that they will be looking at a broad package that at a minimum will include transportation, water, broadband, and energy projects. At the same time, Administration and Congressional Republicans are focusing on regulatory relief and streamlining the project delivery process to lower the cost of projects, shorten the delivery timeline, increase the number of projects that are permitted, and expand private-sector investment.
Administration officials and Speaker Ryan have spoken about relying on private investment for a sizable portion of the $1 trillion investment. For example, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney recently said the President’s full fiscal 2018 budget proposal could include $200 billion for infrastructure designed to generate $1 trillion in investment.
House and Senate Democrats have each released a proposal. Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee Ranking Member DeFazio has introduced a bill (H.R. 1664, the Investing in America: A Penny for Progress Act) that focuses on increasing revenues to stabilize and grow existing infrastructure programs and funding sources. Investing in Infrastructure In the Senate, a large group of Democrats, including Minority Leader Schumer, released an outline of a proposal that would rely on $1 trillion in direct federal spending across a very broad array of infrastructure classes, including VA hospitals, broadband, public schools, energy, transportation and water infrastructure. In addition, each chamber has begun hearings to gather information regarding a potential infrastructure package.
Cement / Concrete Priorities:
In recent years, federal infrastructure programs have faced unprecedented challenges. In their 2017 Report Card, the American Society of Civil Engineers has graded America’s infrastructure a D+. Now is the time to address our core infrastructure. Congress should consider these 3 principles when addressing this important topic:
Infrastructure investment: must be done wisely. It must include reforms to programs that will extend the impact of federal dollars, with a focus on longterm, nationally significant mega projects.
Fix the Highway Trust Fund (HTF): Congress must enact a long-term, robust and sustainable funding mechanism that addresses the HTF shortfalls with durable solutions that both stabilize and increase critical highway investments to position America’s economy for future success.
Economic Competitiveness: An efficient and well-functioning transportation network is essential to maintaining U.S. economic competitiveness. New funding and financing for long-term infrastructure investment are critical to economic growth, personal mobility and public safety. Congress should consider various funding streams to address the nation’s infrastructure investment needs.
Resilient Construction: The need for safe and reliable infrastructure systems and high costs associated with man-made and natural disasters have highlighted the need for federal initiatives that will mitigate these disaster impacts. Congress must address the need for more durable and resilient infrastructure that will save both lives and taxpayer dollars. All federal infrastructure spending measures should require resilient construction techniques. Resilient construction techniques are those that help infrastructure resist hazards and continue to serve their primary function following a disruptive event.
We urge Congress to pass a robust long-term infrastructure package that addresses adequately addresses the current shortfalls impacting our nation’s current infrastructure.