March 1, 2017 3:20 PM, EST

Rep. Shuster on Infrastructure Funding Debate: ‘Not Interested in 2018’

Pete Marovich/Bloomberg News

WASHINGTON — Shortly after addressing state transportation directors on March 1, House Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) said he is hopeful Congress would take up an infrastructure funding measure this year.

“I’m not interested in 2018,” Shuster told reporters at the American Association of State Highway and Administration Officials’ legislative conference two blocks away from the U.S. Capitol.

At the conference, Shuster did not detail a timeline to suggest his transportation authorizing panel would consider an infrastructure measure this year. His Senate counterpart, Wyoming Republican John Barrasso, who addressed the group after Shuster, also did not indicate if his committee would take up a similar bill this year.

Shuster’s remarks came amid recent media reports indicating a likelihood that the Trump administration would wait until 2018 to delve into infrastructure matters.

Meanwhile, Barrasso and his colleagues from rural-centric states have pushed back on the Trump administration’s touting of public-private partnerships that could finance big-ticket projects. Officials representing rural areas testified before the Senate Commerce Committee on March 1 on the topic.

States that lack large metropolitan areas would not generate enough traffic to attract P3 projects consisting of tolls, South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R) told the committee.