Venable partner Fred Wagner was quoted in a March 16, 2017, Law360 article on President Donald Trump's proposed budget which includes a 13% cut in funding for the Department of Transportation. The cuts affect a variety of programs including mass transit and grants for local surface transportation projects while prioritizing development of a major freight and highways program. The proposed budget also calls for the privatization of the country's air traffic control system.
Noting that the proposed cuts are contrary to the president's promise to invest $1 trillion in infrastructure, Wagner said, "That's inconsistent with the stated desire to promote infrastructure and job creation and the rest, so there could be some objection on the planning horizon for some of these."
Wagner predicted there would be significant pushbacks on the proposed elimination of the TIGER program that supports multimodal and multijurisdictional projects. "I would predict there would be a lot of pushback from both sides of the aisle because that program has been very popular," he said. "I would think that program is one that actually may survive because you'll hear from Congress that without earmark authority, TIGER grants are one of the best ways to get some purely local projects built on a smaller scale and [these] are ready to go, these aren't 10- or 20-year horizon projects."