On June 19, 2020, Fred Wagner was quoted in Logistics Management on the next steps for a new long-term surface transportation authorization as Democrats and Republicans of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure introduce competing bills.
According to the article, earlier this month, the Democratic arm of the committee released the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation (INVEST) in America Act, which calls for investing $494 billion in the nation's roads, railways, transit, and other surface transportation infrastructure, while also addressing climate change.
In response, committee Republicans proposed the Surface Transportation Advanced through Reform, Technology, & Efficient Review (STARTER) Act as an amendment during this week’s markup of the Democrats’ INVEST Act. The committee said it reflects Republicans’ surface transportation principles, including state flexibility, reasonable regulation reform, traditional core transportation needs, preparing for future transportation technologies, and a greater emphasis on rural America’s infrastructure needs.
Wagner said that the next steps for a future reauthorization are yet to be clearly defined. “There is a high likelihood that House Democrats are going to push for some sort of action on this and other sorts of COVID stimulus before the July 4 recess,” he said.
“It is pretty clear that there is a strong appetite by the House Majority to consider some sort of economic stimulus, and the question will be whether infrastructure will be viewed as a fiscal component of that. That will also cover non-transportation parts like water works and broadband...it will be a much broader definition of infrastructure in a larger bill.”
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