Saturday, January 28, 2017

This Week in Transportation: January 28, 2017

This week in transportation, a document potentially containing the Trump team's infrastructure priorities is re-circulating, Senate Democrats unveiled their infrastructure plan, and a new poll found Americans don't want to raise taxes to repair infrastructure. Here are the most important and interesting transportation stories from the past week:

Trump team compiles infrastructure priority list
The Kansas City Star obtained a document it says outlines the Trump administration's 50 infrastructure priorities. Most of them are transportation infrastructure projects - such as the Gateways project to repair the NYC-Newark rail tunnels - though it includes a few energy infrastructure projects as well, including new transmission lines and a large wind farm in Wyoming. The Star says Congressional aides have confirmed the authenticity of the document but that it is still a working draft based on recommendations from governors across the country.

Senate Democrats propose $1 trillion infrastructure plan
FOX News reports, "Senate Democrats on Tuesday offered a plan to spend $1 trillion on transportation and other infrastructure projects over 10 years, challenging President Donald Trump to join them on an issue where they hope to find common ground. Democrats estimate their plan would create 15 million jobs. The plan includes $210 billion to repair aging roads and bridges and another $200 billion for a "vital infrastructure fund" to pay for a variety of transportation projects of national significance... Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Democrats pitched their plan to Trump and asked for his support. Schumer said he also warned Trump that doing so would mean he'd have to "go against" elements of the Republican Party. Trump acknowledged that and seemed open to working with Democrats, he said."

Ryan: GOP planning 'expansive' infrastructure budget
The Washington Examiner reports that House Speaker Paul Ryan is looking to include funding for infrastructure in the fiscal 2018 budget, the size of which will be determined by how much money they can find to pay for it. "Ryan said lawmakers are aiming for an 'expansive' infrastructure spending plan in the fiscal 2018 budget in the weeks ahead. Ryan, R-Wis., said infrastructure is a significant part of the GOP's 200-day agenda, along with health insurance reform, tax reform and regulatory reform."

Americans want to rebuild roads, bridges, but not at cost of taxes: Reuters Poll
Reuters reports, "Americans want a federal infrastructure program to focus on rebuilding aging roads and bridges, but are reluctant to use federal dollars for such projects, according to a Reuters polls released on Thursday... According to the Dec. 16-Jan. 12 poll, most Americans said a federal infrastructure program should focus on improving existing roads and bridges. They expressed less interest in mass transit, new roads and new technology. Americans also expressed little interest in paying for such a program. Some 51 percent of respondents said they did not want a higher tax bill as a result, and 56 percent said they do not want the government to borrow money to pay for infrastructure."

Happy reading, and happy weekend!

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