Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Approves Plan
President Donald Trump and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee are focused on building what they refer to as a “21st-century infrastructure for America.” Will issues addressing the trucking industry be considered?
President Trump’s Infrastructure Plan
During his campaign, President Trump promised a $1 trillion plan to improve infrastructure. He has also outlined a project called the “Priority List: Emergency National Security Projects.” President Trump’s infrastructure plan is focused on rebuilding American roads, highways and railways while creating approximately 24,000 jobs over a 10-year span. In relation to truck drivers, highways and bridges are proposed to be granted approximately $21.5 billion in funding for improvements and make up nearly 21 percent of jobs created within the plan.
Senate Democrats $1 Trillion Infrastructure Plan
Last week, Senate Democrats introduced a $1 trillion infrastructure plan that included $10 billion for TIGER Grants to invest in limiting transportation congestion and create projects with a focus on freight bottlenecks and shorter commutes.
TIGER Grant Impact on Truck Parking
In 2015, the USDOT issued $25 million in TIGER Grant funding for the Regional Truck Parking Information and Management Systems. The grant was issued for eight states including, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.
However, the USDOT was only able to fund five percent of the amount requested by the states to complete proposals in the TIGER Grant program.
Currently, it is unclear what proposed infrastructure plan and the details associated with said plan will be passed.
Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Oversight Plan
Bill Shuster (R-PA), Chairman of Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
The committee has launched a #buidling21 campaign on social media focused on bringing awareness to its plan to rebuilt America – highlighting an infrastructure made for the 21st century. “Thanks to the hard work of our members, our committee has built a record of success over the last four years moving large, complex pieces of legislation to improve our transportation networks and our infrastructure,” said Shuster (R-PA). “This Congress, we have more work to do, and a golden opportunity to build a 21st-century infrastructure for America.”
The Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, headed by Lloyd Smucker (R-PA), will focus its responsibilities on three specific implementations:
1. FAST Act Implementation
The Fixing America’s Surface Surface Transportation Act signed on December 4, 2015, authorizes $305 billion for infrastructure reform for highways, public transportation and safety improvements through the fiscal year 2020.
2. Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act Implementation
The subcommittee will also continue oversight of MAP-21 which includes the principles of:
- Raising the bar to enter the industry and operate on American roads
- Holding motor carrier and drivers to the highest safety standards
- Removing the highest risk drivers, vehicles and carriers from American roads.
3. Monitor Highway Trust Fund (HTF) Revenue
The federal highway and transportation programs are financed through taxes placed on fuel and products such as heavy-duty truck tires. The revenue gathered from these taxes fund the HTF and meet the needs of future transportation investments.