WASHINGTON — The top transportation authorizer in the House offered a more precise timeline for when members of Congress should look to advance a long-term infrastructure funding package.
“We’ve got to get something done before next spring across the board, whether it’s taxes, Obamacare or health care reform, or infrastructure spending because the House of Representatives and a third of the Senate, they’re going to be on the line,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), noting that next year those lawmakers will be up for re-election.
Speaking at an event hosted by politics website Axios on March 21, Shuster also stressed he is hopeful his committee would be able to take up an infrastructure package this fall. Before then, he acknowledged the chambers are tied up debating health care policies, and policymakers are awaiting Senate confirmation for President Trump’s transportation appointments. Senators currently are considering a Supreme Court nomination.
But, when the time arrives to finalize an infrastructure package, Shuster added the measure would need to consist of myriad funding options. “We have to come up with more dollars, because no matter how you slice it, there has to be more of a federal contribution,” Shuster said.
Last month, Trump told Congress to approve a $1 trillion infrastructure funding bill that would rely on private and public financing. The plan’s details, which Trump promised to unveil during his first 100 days in office, have yet to be revealed.