Secretary Chao Discusses Infrastructure Priorities as Administration Begins to Release More Details
As the Trump Administration and Congress continue to develop a large-scale infrastructure proposal, the Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary, Elaine Chao, discussed the Administration’s priorities. Speaking to the National Governors Association last week, Secretary Chao acknowledged challenges in passing the $1 trillion infrastructure proposal the Administration has called for. The Secretary indicated that it would take both federal and private investment to reach the $1 trillion top-line number.
In his inaugural Joint Address to Congress last week, President Trump provided few specifics about his infrastructure proposal. He did call on lawmakers to pass legislation producing a $1 trillion investment in infrastructure, financed through both public and private capital. He also noted President Eisenhower’s efforts to establish the Interstate Highway System and called for a new program of national rebuilding. Finally, he said that our nation’s “crumbling infrastructure will be replaced with new roads, bridges, tunnels, airports and railways gleaming across our beautiful land.” Our complete report on the Joint Address, including an analysis of what to expect from the Administration going forward, is available here.
President Trump is also expected to release additional information on his infrastructure agenda in the President’s “skinny budget,” which is scheduled to be released March 16.
Appropriations Committees to Hold Hearings on THUD Issues
The House and Senate Appropriations Committees, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Subcommittees will hold hearings this week to evaluate transportation infrastructure federal funding needs.
The Senate Appropriations Committee THUD Subcommittee will hold a hearing on Wednesday, March 8, to examine our nation’s transportation infrastructure needs and will hear from witnesses representing a number of transportation stakeholders. The House Appropriations Committee THUD Subcommittee will hold a “Members’ Day” hearing on Thursday, March 9, to hear from Members of Congress regarding their transportation infrastructure priorities.
House Transportation Committee to Hold Third FAA Hearing
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: Air Transportation in the United States in the 21st Century.” The witnesses will include representatives from Alaska Air Group Inc., SkyWest Inc., Air Transport Services Group Inc., NetJets Inc., the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, and Travelers United.
This will be the Subcommittee’s third 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, while the second focused on airport infrastructure.
This Week’s Hearings:
- On Wednesday, March 8, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies has scheduled a hearing titled “Investing in America: Funding our Nation’s Transportation Infrastructure Needs.” The witnesses will be:
- David Bernhardt, Commissioner, Maine Department of Transportation, President, American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials
- Jim Tymon, Chief Operating Officer and Director of Policy Management, American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials
- Todd Hauptli, President and CEO, American Association of Airport Executives
- Edward L. Mortimer, Executive Director for Transportation Infrastructure, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
- Beth Osborne, Senior Policy Advisor, Transportation for America
- On Wednesday, March 8, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has scheduled a hearing titled “Building a 21st Century Infrastructure for America: Air Transportation in the United States in the 21st Century.” The witnesses will be:
- Brad Tilden, CEO of Alaska Air Group Inc.
- Russell Childs, CEO of SkyWest Inc.
- Joseph Hete, CEO of Air Transport Services Group Inc.
- Adam Johnson, CEO of NetJets Inc.
- Sara Nelson, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA
- Charles Leocha, chairman and co-founder of Travelers United
- On Thursday, March 9, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has scheduled a hearing titled “Building a 21st Century Infrastructure for America: The Role of Federal Agencies in Water Infrastructure.” The witnesses will be announced.
- On Thursday, March 9, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies has scheduled a Members’ Day hearing.
- On Thursday, March 9, the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance has scheduled a hearing titled “Flood Insurance Reform: FEMA’s Perspective.” The witnesses will be announced.
- On Thursday, March 9, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Indian, Insular, and Alaska Native Affairs has scheduled a hearing titled “Improving and Expanding Infrastructure in Tribal and Insular Communities.” The witnesses will be announced.