The big four surface transportation policymakers on Capitol Hill are scheduled to share with state-level transportation officials the latest developments on crafting much-anticipated infrastructure legislation.
House Transportation Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), committee ranking Republican Rep. Sam Graves of Missouri, Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and ranking Democrat Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware will lead a discussion Feb. 27 at a policy conference hosted by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
During a recent House transportation committee hearing, state officials and freight stakeholders urged lawmakers to ensure sustainable funding for infrastructure projects. DeFazio agreed Congress should advance a measure soon. He has suggested a bill could be unveiled by summer.
“Unfortunately, highlighting needs has not spurred Congress to action. So let me be clear that the question is not whether we will need to invest, but when we will invest. Inaction has serious consequences, and the cost of delay is high,” DeFazio said Feb. 7.
During his committee’s consideration of President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Federal Highway Administration, Barrasso emphasized the potential for bipartisanship with regard to infrastructure policy.
“We successfully worked together to pass comprehensive, bipartisan water infrastructure legislation. Now let us come together to fix our highways, roads and bridges,” Barrasso said Jan. 29.
At the State of the Union, Trump noted Congress’ interest in advancing an infrastructure policy update. Federal funding authority for transportation programs expires in the fall of 2020.
The AASHTO event will be held at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, D.C.