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Entries in Trump infrastructure plan (6)

Monday
Mar062017

Chao Tells Conference ‘Time Has Come’ to Rebuild U.S. Transportation Infrastructure

AASHTO Journal

March 6, 2017

U.S. Transportation Secretary, Elaine Chao"The time has come for a new program of national rebuilding," U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao told leaders of state departments of transportation at an annual Washington, D.C., conference of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

In her prepared remarks as posted on a USDOT website, Chao echoed a signature statement issued the night before by President Trump as he said he would ask Congress for a major new infrastructure investment program.

Trump in his Feb. 28 speech to a joint session of Congress highlighted improvements he wants to make in transportation systems. Chao, in her March 1 keynote remarks at the AASHTO "Washington Briefing," told the state agency CEOs that "already, numerous meetings have been held – at the White House and at the Department of Transportation – with key infrastructure stakeholders from all over the country."

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Friday
Feb242017

Trump to map out infrastructure ideas in address to Congress

The Hill

February 24, 2017

President Trump will begin to map out his highly anticipated ideas for repairing U.S. roads, bridges and airports in the coming weeks, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Thursday.

Spicer said during the daily briefing that infrastructure issues will be addressed in Trump’s joint speech to Congress next week as well as in the budget, which is expected to be released in mid-March. 

“The infrastructure projects and priorities that the president has talked about it, whether it’s air [traffic] control in our airports or roads and bridges, will be something that he’s going to work on with [the Department of Transportation], but also talk about in his budget,” Spicer said. “You’ll see more in his joint address to Congress.”

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Wednesday
Feb222017

Those who spend the most time on the road are pleading to pay more for gas. Here’s why.

Star-Telegram

February 22, 2017

WASHINGTON- As President Donald Trump and lawmakers in both parties roll out massive infrastructure plans, no one seems to be willing to consider the hottest, most vexing piece of that legislative puzzle: raising the federal gasoline tax.

Suddenly, the effort has an important new ally: the nation’s railroads.

Motorists and truckers pay the same 18.4 cents and 24.4 cents a gallon, respectively, they did when Bill Clinton was president from 1993 to 2001. But those pennies don’t buy what they did in 1993.

The tax was enough to pay for the federal share of building and maintaining the nation’s roads, bridges and transit systems. But every year since 2008, when the shortfalls started, lawmakers have punted on higher taxes. Instead, they’ve transferring ever larger amounts of general revenues into the Highway Trust Fund to keep it running.

As of last year, Congress had poured $143 billion into the fund’s depleted coffers since the shortfalls began.

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Thursday
Feb092017

Industry coalition asks Trump for long-term Highway Trust Fund fix

Progressive Railroading

February 9, 2017

A coalition of transportation, construction and labor organizations has asked President Donald Trump to shore up the Highway Trust Fund with a long term, dedicated user-based revenue source as part of the administration's infrastructure investment plan.

In a Feb. 1 letter to Trump, the coalition agreed with the president's position that the nation's infrastructure is insufficient to support American competitiveness. Any "responsible proposal" should call for improvements to all types of infrastructure that help businesses reduce shipping, commuting, water and energy costs, the letter stated.

Organizations that signed the letter included the American Public Transportation Association, American Association of Port Authorities, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), American Council of Engineering Companies, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and AFL-CIO.

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Thursday
Jan192017

Most Americans don’t want new tolls to pay for road and bridge improvements, poll says

The Washington Post

January 19, 2017

A plan to pump up to $1 trillion into infrastructure by luring private investors won’t win public support if it means new tolls on existing roads and bridges, according to a new poll.

In Washington Post-ABC News poll, 66 percent of those surveyed said they oppose a plan that would grant close to $140 billion in tax credits to investors who put their money into roads, bridges and transit in return for the right to impose tolls.

While the survey question made no mention of the incoming president, prior to the election Donald J. Trump proposed giving private investors an 82 percent tax credit to put money into projects, credits that theoretically would reduce their need to profit from the investment.

Trump said his plan would lead to up to $1 trillion worth of new projects. He said the more than $137 billion cost of the tax credit would balance out because tax revenue would be recouped by taxing the wages of people put to work on the projects and from taxes paid by contractors hired to do the work.

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Tuesday
Dec132016

Former Gov. Ed Rendell: New Tolls on Interstates Ideal for Infrastructure Projects

Transportation Topics

December 8, 2016

WASHINGTON — Allowing states to establish tolling facilities on existing interstate highways would help finance large-scale infrastructure projects, the former governor of Pennsylvania argued while on a panel here on Dec. 8.

“You need to get the private sector involved. Private sector is not going to get involved without a reasonable rate of return. Tolling is a way to do that,” former Gov. Ed Rendell, a Democrat and co-chairman of a group that advocates for more infrastructure funding, said. “Let the states toll if they want to toll.”

Rendell was responding to concerns raised by the majority of the transportation sector over a lack of funding to finance roadways and bridges. He was speaking at a summit hosted by The Atlantic at the Newseum.

On the flip side, the trucking industry is staunchly opposed to adding tolls on existing federal highways. “You toll existing roads and bridges, we’re going to fight that until the end,” American Trucking Associations President Chris Spear told Transport Topics this week.

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