Ryan Says Congress to Break Up Trump’s Infrastructure Proposals
(March 14, 2018)
- House Republicans will break President Donald Trump’s infrastructure plan into multiple pieces of legislation to make progress this year, House Speaker Paul Ryan said.
Ryan said the House will first address airports and runways as part of a must-pass reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration, then work on more traditional highway and bridge issues. Congress will start on infrastructure legislation in the coming weeks, he said.
Trump released his legislative outline to upgrade U.S. roads, bridges and other public works in February that calls for allocating at least $200 billion in federal funds over 10 years, mostly as incentives to spur states, localities and the private sector to spend at least $1.5 trillion. The plan also would reduce the time for granting permits for projects to two years or less.
Ryan of Wisconsin said Republicans agree with Trump on using federal dollars to draw private investment in infrastructure projects and on streamlining the environmental review and permitting process.
There are concerns in Congress about whether there will be enough time to get through one major piece of legislation before lawmakers begin their campaigns for re-election. John Cornyn of Texas, the Senate’s No. 2 Republican, has said he doesn’t know whether that chamber will have time to get to an infrastructure bill.
Trump hasn’t proposed a funding source for his plan, preferring to negotiate those details with Congress. Lawmakers who attended a closed-door meeting Feb. 14 with Trump said he offered to support a 25-cent increase in the federal gas tax to help pay for his plan, but Ryan ruled out a gas tax increase in a telephone town hall hosted by the conservative group Americans for Prosperity.