On November 20, 2018, Jim Burnley was featured in a Q&A in Logistics Management about the possibility of movement on a new surface transportation authorization, with Democrats now having a bigger seat at the Congressional table after the mid-term elections. Here is an excerpt:
Q: As we think about a new national infrastructure bill, what, in your opinion, are some of the key trends and themes related to it between now and when a bill would actually drop?
A: I think there are a few factors to think about in terms of the framework. One is that the current surface transportation authorization bill expires on September 30, 2020. A new reauthorization bill needs to be passed in the few years or we start to go into short-term extensions, and that will be much more challenging to figure out. A few years back, the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) collapsed, but the shortfall is covered through the end of this reauthorization bill. You cannot just go back to doing those short-term extensions without addressing the need to come up with additional sources of funding. Until, or unless, there are new revenue sources, though, there will have to be further transferring from the U.S. general treasury so that complicates things.