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Legislative News

  • Fri, February 08, 2019 1:21 PM | CIRT News (Administrator)

    In an op-ed penned by Elaine L. Chao, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, she reiterates the vital nature of a robust modern infrastructure in the United States, saying in part “infrastructure is an issue that has potential for bipartisan consensus in Washington. Leaders in both parties recognize that infrastructure needs to be a priority.”  With that the Secretary commits the President to this matter saying the “Trump administration stands ready to help get this job done, for Americans today and for the generations to come.”

    The scope of our infrastructure needs, (beyond the obvious roads, bridges, tunnels, and other modes of transport) includes such disperse challenges as “seaports and inland waterways essential for commerce,  . . . ” as well as electric grids, pipelines, and a myriad of other assets. The Secretary noting that: “President Trump also believes our country must invest in cutting-edge technologies that promise to shape our world for years to come, such as a secure 5G network, advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and rural broadband.”  The failure to do “anything” is shark, insufficient or failing infrastructure can impede our economic growth, while impacting the quality of life enjoyed by all Americans.

    But, the challenge is not just finding sufficient funding, it also includes addressing : “Government red tape delays, and sometimes denies, needed infrastructure improvements. The Trump administration is committed to streamlining government permitting and approval processes so that infrastructure projects can be delivered more quickly.”

    Fortunately, there seems to be little doubt, that: “[t]here is considerable interest on both sides of the aisle in considering infrastructure legislation in the coming year.”

    For a full version of Secretary Chao’s op-ed go to: https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/transportation-secretary-chao-dems-and-gop-should-join-with-trump-to-fund-infrastructure-improvements


  • Wed, November 14, 2018 5:10 PM | Mark Casso (Administrator)

    With the results of the mid-terms mostly determined, one initiative that appears to have moved front and center is a national infrastructure effort.  Both likely House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Trump have highlighted this area as possible ground where the two political sides could find common cause. Obviously, any measure would have to maneuver through a mine-field of compromises; both as to price tag (between $500 to $200 billion), and policy issues such as providing incentives for state and local governments to identify additional revenue sources and methods.  Already discussed by the Department of Transportation during 2018 are such approaches as: incentive grants; reforms to make it easier to use long-term public private partnerships (P-3s); and even use of a fairly new concept called “asset recycling.” [A new Reason Foundation policy study provides an introduction to infrastructure asset recycling concept, and how it may serve as way to leverage value infrastructure assets for future needs].

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