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Senate Republicans release infrastructure framework
Maria Robertson

Senate Republicans release infrastructure framework

On Thursday,  Republican committee leaders in the Senate released their framework for an infrastructure package. The five-year proposal, deemed a counter proposal to the Biden Administration’s American Jobs Plan, would focus primarily on transportation, broadband and water infrastructure.

The $568 billion, five-year proposal would be broken out into several categories:

  • Roads and Bridges: $299 billion
  • Public Transit: $61 billion
  • Rail: $20 billion
  • Safety (non-infrastructure safety): $13 billion
  • Drinking Water and Wastewater: $35 billion
  • Inland Ports and Waterways: $17 billion
  • Airports: $44 billion
  • Broadband: $65 billion
  • Water Storage: $14 billion

 

Unlike the American Jobs Plan, this proposal does not specifically call out the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) and road safety; however, roadway safety infrastructure investments would very likely be funded under the “Roads and Bridges” portion.

The proposal argues that investments should run through existing formula and discretionary programs (such as HSIP and others) rather than standing up new programs. Funding mechanisms for the proposal were outlined in broad strokes, calling for the user-fee based Highway Trust Fund to be made solvent as well as calling on alternative-fuel vehicles to contribute revenue as well.

The proposal was released by Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Mike Crapo (R-ID) and John Barrasso (R-WY). These senators serve as the ranking members of the Environment and Public Works; Commerce, Science and Transportation; Banking, House, and Urban Development; Finance; and Energy and Natural Resources Committees, respectively.

ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner noted, “ATSSA just completed our annual Legislative Briefing and Fly-In this week, and roadway safety was a hot topic on Capitol Hill. We are encouraged that Senate Republicans are bringing a proposal forward that would invest in roads, bridges and roadway safety infrastructure projects. This is a natural next step in the legislative process, and ATSSA strongly encourages the debate, negotiations and compromise to continue as Democrats and Republicans, and Congress and the White House, work together to prove that infrastructure investments are a shared, bipartisan goal. We’re ready to work with both sides of the aisle to significantly invest in roadway safety infrastructure so that, as a country, we can move Toward Zero Deaths on our roads.”

Additionally, on Friday, the Problem Solvers Caucus, a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House of Representatives, endorsed raising federal motor fuels user fees as a way to pay for increased investments in transportation infrastructure.

ATSSA Vice President of Engagement Nate Smith stated, “ATSSA commends the Problem Solvers on their continued commitment in focusing on user fees to pay for transportation infrastructure. We are longtime supporters raising these user fees so that we can significantly reduce fatalities and serious injuries on U.S. roads. Momentum is building on Capitol Hill for increased transportation infrastructure investments, and ATSSA is eager to continue working with members of Congress in both parties to get this done.”

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