House T&I Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) unveiled a discussion draft of a major infrastructure proposal. Although Chairman Shuster will be retiring at the end of this term, he wanted to be able to lay out his vision for federal investment in infrastructure that can serve as a starting point for discussions with Members of Congress of both parties, stakeholders, and industry. It is unlikely that any formal action will be taken on his proposal this year, if for no other reason than the very tight congressional schedule and limited days in session leading up to the November elections.
The framework released addresses four major areas - reforming the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) , strengthening infrastructure investment, utilizing innovative financing, and accelerating project delivery. The proposal covers surface transportation programs along with water programs such as WIFIA, revolving loan funds, and the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund, as well as economic development and the federal buildings programs. In general, the draft does not address program funding levels and does not include any project earmarks.
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Jayanti Menches, SVP, Director Communications