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Infrastructure Package Likely in Next Congress

The President’s $18 billion spending package to rebuild America’s crumbling infrastructure will not get much attention in the remaining months of the 115th Congress as other spending bills and the mid-term elections quickly approach. The infrastructure package was revealed earlier this year but almost immediately put on hold as the financing provisions raised significant questions.

In the proposal, states would be required to provide the initial $1 billion before the federal government would begin its portion. Additionally, the funding source for the federal portion is uncertain as some have suggested raising the gas tax or further deficit spending, both of which have not garnered any significant support.

Another complicating factor is neither the House nor the Senate have even begun discussing the President’s proposal. In addition to the Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA) leaving Congress at the end of this Congress’ term, and the uncertainty and political maneuverings before the mid-term elections, further decreases the likelihood that anything will happen this year. However, next year, following the elections and any possible flipping of either House politically, the scenario may change. In any event, both parties and chambers of Congress will want to complete a major spending package before the next presidential election so they can have something to go back home with to show the voters some achievements. The President will also weigh in considerably then to produce another achievement for his re-election effort.

This information is extremely important as ISRI looks for opportunities to encourage the use of rubberized asphalt. To this end, the Division is developing an outreach strategy that will require the Federal Highway Administration to survey the states and develop a comprehensive report that will chronicle the status of rubberized asphalt in the 50 states. This report would include the following:

  • The number and types of road projects that have been conducted;
  • An evaluation of the road projects that have been done and the status of those projects; and
  • Should rubberized asphalt be rejected as an alternative to conventional asphalt, the reasons for the rejection shall be listed and documented.
For more information, please contact Jonathan Levy or Billy Johnson.
 

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