America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2019 was introduced on July 29th with bipartisan support in the US Senate by the Environment and Public Works committee. The bill would authorize roughly $290 billion dollars of federal resources to be allocated to specific infrastructure needs. The money would go to projects ranging from repairing aging bridges, tunnels, and highways to adding electric vehicle charging stations along America’s roadways.
Because the bill would result in a 27% increase in spending over what currently exists, roughly $85 billion dollars of additional revenue must be generated to pay for everything the bill intends to accomplish by 2025. This is likely to be the major hurdle to getting the legislation passed. With that being said, the senate does not want to add simple extensions to the current infrastructure bill, which is set to expire in 2020, but would rather have a comprehensive new bill to allow a smooth flowing transition and cut down on inefficiencies.
The EPW hopes to get the bill out of committee this week, but it must be paired with a bill from the house, which would not come until this fall at the earliest. Regardless of the hurdles the bill still has to leap to reach completion, it has garnered support for many. The EPW is meeting today to bring the bill out of committee
American Trucking Association President Chris Spear remarked, “The strength of our economy relies on sound roads and bridges, as more than 70% of our nation's goods travel by highway on the back of trucks. With the right investment, we can stem America's deepening infrastructure crisis and instead achieve a 21st century infrastructure worthy of the world's leading economy. We look forward to working closely with this committee and the other relevant committees on a legislative package that includes the long-term, sustainable funding that our highway programs critically need."
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