247 Customs Broker featured comments by Jim Burnley on May 24, 2018, on the political climate surrounding infrastructure reform in an election year. Representative Bill Shuster, the outgoing House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman, has indicated he is working on a national infrastructure bill.
The article notes that "Shuster and other members of the House panel have long called for a sweeping infrastructure package, but GOP leadership has not shown much of an appetite for a comprehensive bill." In addition, House Speaker Paul Ryan said that President Trump's infrastructure plan or blueprint is not likely to come in the form of a sweeping, multi-year, multi-billion-dollar bill, as Mr. Trump stated while on the campaign trail and not long after initially taking office, but instead would be made up of close to a half-dozen individual bills.
Customs Broker also cites LM Contributing Editor John Schulz, who wrote that a long-term infrastructure bill requires careful planning, political will, and, most importantly, billions of dollars, all things that appear to be in short supply in Washington at the moment. And as mentioned above, this has made infrastructure an "early casualty of Washington's fixation on the November mid-term elections," with key political figures like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell signaling that Trump's $200 billion federal infrastructure plan is all but dead for this year.
Commenting on the likelihood of passing major legislation in an election year, Mr. Burnley said, "Working on an infrastructure program in an election year is a neat political trick—and one just not possible in the current political climate."