Last winter President Trump suggested that Congress should think about funding up to $1.5 trillion in infrastructure investment.
In a document called the Legislative Outline for Rebuilding Infrastructure in America, Trump proposed spending that amount over the span of a decade, while shortening the “process for approving projects to two years or less,” and addressing what he called “unmet rural infrastructure needs.”
But the idea went nowhere due to a coalition of Democrats, who thought that the President’s plan put too much of a burden on state and local governments, and Republicans, who expressed concerns about raising the nation’s federal gasoline tax from its current 18.4 cents a gallon to pay for the legislation.
Now some analysts are suggesting that if the Republicans lose the House in the elections, it could surprisingly turn out to be a good thing for Trump’s infrastructure plan.
“A Democratic House might be more willing than the current Republican-led Congress to devote big money to rebuilding the nation’s roads, bridges, rails, airports, waterways and broadband networks,” notes Tanya Snyder, a reporter for Politico.com.
The House Democratic Policy & Communications Committee has released a document called Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure, which is calling for $1 trillion in infrastructure spending, with less of a buy-in on the part of state and local governments than proposed by Trump.
A Democrat takeover of the House would most likely mean that Oregon Representative Peter DeFazio would become the new chair of that chamber’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
DeFazio has said he is willing to work with the White House to pass infrastructure legislation, and has indicated that he would pay for that legislation by raising the gas tax and indexing it inflation.
The President has also said that there is a chance that the White House may be able to come to an agreement with a Democratic House on a new infrastructure initiative. “They want infrastructure, I want infrastructure. There’s something that can bring us together,” he said in an interview on the TV show Fox and Friends.
Analysts have suggested, however, that if the Senate remains in Republican hands, any infrastructure bill coming out of the House that would require a significantly increased fuel tax might find rough going.
By Garry Boulard
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