President Trump Expected to Discuss Infrastructure in Coming Weeks
The President is expected to release additional information on his infrastructure agenda in the coming weeks. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the President will discuss infrastructure in his address to Congress on Tuesday. Additionally, he noted that more information will be included in the President’s “skinny budget” that is expected to be released in March.
The Press Secretary’s comments followed a meeting of administration officials, including Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Elaine Chao and representatives from the manufacturing industry. Subjects discussed during the meeting included a focus on public-private partnerships (P3s) and streamlining permitting processes.
However, there is growing concern among transportation stakeholders that a comprehensive infrastructure bill may not be addressed until 2018. This could provide Republicans with more time to address Affordable Care Act (ACA) and tax reform while increasing pressure on Democrats to support the Administration’s infrastructure plans during the election year.
House Transportation Committee to Hold Second FAA Hearing, Focused on Airports
The House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee Subcommittee on Aviation will hold a hearing on Wednesday titled “Building a 21st Century Infrastructure for America: State of American Airports.” The witnesses will include representatives from the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport; the Port of Seattle; the Allegheny County Airport Authority; the Greater Asheville Regional Airport Authority; and the Director of Airports for Ventura County, California.
This will be the Subcommittee’s second hearing examining aviation issues in anticipation of a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill needed later this year. The current FAA authorization expires September 30, 2017. The Subcommittee’s first hearing focused on aviation manufacturing.
One of the major issues that will be considered in upcoming hearings will be T&I Committee Chairman Bill Shuster’s (R-PA) air traffic control (ATC) reform proposal that he introduced in the last Congress. The proposal may have gained additional support when the Eno Center for Transportation released a report last week advocating that responsibility for ATC operations be given to a government corporation or nonprofit organization.
This Week’s Hearings:
- On Tuesday, February 28, the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications has scheduled a hearing titled “The Future of FEMA: Recommendations of Former Administrators.” The witnesses will be announced.
- On Wednesday, March 1, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Aviation has scheduled a hearing titled “Building a 21st Century Infrastructure for America: State of American Airports.” The witnesses will be:
- Sean Donohue, Chief Executive Officer, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport;
- Lance Lyttle, Managing Director, Aviation Division, Port of Seattle;
- Christina Cassotis, Chief Executive Officer, Allegheny County Airport Authority;
- Lew Bleiweis, Executive Director, Greater Asheville Regional Airport Authority; and
- Todd McNamee, Director of Airports, County of Ventura, California.
- On Wednesday, March 1, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Power, and Oceans has scheduled a hearing titled “Oversight Hearing on Modernizing Western Water and Power Infrastructure in the 21st” The witnesses will be announced.
- On Wednesday, March 1, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has scheduled a hearing titled “Flood Control Infrastructure: Safety Questions Raised by Current Events.” The witnesses will be announced.
- On Wednesday, March 1, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee has scheduled a hearing titled “Connecting America: Improving Access to Infrastructure for Communities Across the Country.” The witnesses will be:
- The Honorable Dennis Daugaard, Governor of South Dakota;
- The Honorable Philip Levine, Mayor of Miami Beach;
- The Honorable Carlos Braceras, Executive Director, Utah Department of Transportation; and
- Ms. Shirley Bloomfield, Chief Executive Officer, NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association.
- On Thursday, March 2, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet has scheduled a hearing titled “Exploring the Value of Spectrum to the U.S. Economy.”
- Mr. Scott Bergmann, Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, CTIA – the Wireless Association;
- Mr. Roger Entner, Founder, Recon Analytics;
- Mr. Dave Heiner, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Microsoft;
- Mr. Pat LaPlatney, President and Chief Executive Officer, Raycom Media; and
- Mr. Tom Stroup, President, Satellite Industry Association;
- On Thursday, March 2, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has scheduled a hearing titled “Transparency at TSA.” The witnesses will be announced.