Transportation & Infrastructure

Winners and Losers in the Trump Budget in One Chart
Administration released its budget request Monday

The president’s budget request includes $1.1 trillion in discretionary funds. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Trump administration submitted its fiscal 2019 budget request to Capitol Hill on Monday, outlining the president’s priorities for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.

Roll Call analyzed the documents and put together the following graphic on the departmental winners and losers in the proposed budget:

House Appropriators Ready to Carve Up Budget Deal
Side deal among leaders would divide spending, and could divide members

House Appropriations member Steve Womack, who is also Budget chairman, said he and his fellow appropriators never like to have their work spelled out for them. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A side agreement among congressional leaders to allocate some of the new nondefense funding to opioid abuse prevention, infrastructure and several other priorities is complicating the plan to write a fiscal 2018 omnibus.

Even if that weren’t the case, appropriators say they don’t like being micromanaged.

Podcast: Roadblocks to Rebuilding America's Roads and Bridges
CQ on Congress, Episode 89

The White House says it will not include any new revenue sources to finance its plan for about $200 billion in infrastructure spending. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Trump says he wants a $1.5 trillion to rebuild America's roads, bridges and other infrastructure, but differences over how to pay for it could prevent his ambitious plan from getting off the ground. CQ transportation reporter Jacob Fischler and budget editor Peter Cohn explain.

Shuster Hopes to Move FAA Funding Before Infrastructure Bill
Says GOP votes could be sacrificed for bipartisan support

Elevator doors close on House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster, R-Pa., as he leaves the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the Capitol in 2015. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — House Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster said he intends to try to pass a long-term reauthorization of funding for the Federal Aviation Administration before an infrastructure package advances.

Shuster, who will take a lead role in negotiations on the infrastructure bill, also said he expects to lose some Republican support in order to bring Democrats on board and advance a bipartisan bill.

Republicans Remain Hopeful on Infrastructure, but Funding Still an Open Question
‘Congress will have a say’ in infrastructure framework, Thune says

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., talks with reporters after he and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., conducted a news conference at the media center during the House and Senate Republican retreat on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — Infrastructure is set to be a major topic of discussion at the GOP retreat, but how to fund a package that could total as much as $1.5 trillion remains an open question that Republican lawmakers must grapple with.

Republican leaders said they will rely significantly on funding commitments from private industry to help offset the cost of the yet to be released package. But funding within the bill — possibly upwards of a quarter of the total money — are also expected to be directed specifically to those regions that can’t bring in enough outside capital to pay for certain projects involving roads, bridges and broadband internet.

Trump Sheds Bipartisan Tone, Returns to Blasting Dems
Presidents joins Republicans at retreat to talk DACA, infrastructure

President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in the House chamber on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It turns out the bipartisan message President Donald Trump struck in his State of the Union address had a shelf life of exactly 32 hours.

The president used part of his speech to a joint session of Congress to call on Republicans and Democrats to cooperate on issues like immigration reform and rebuilding the country’s aging infrastructure. He stuck to that script on Wednesday, taking no public shots at congressional Democrats even after they booed and hissed at parts of his address.

Capitol Ink | Our Crumbling Infrastructure

Capitol-Ink-02-01-18

Opinion: Trump’s Brigadoon Moment — A Speech That Will Soon Vanish Into the Mist
#NeverTrump Republicans might have been dreaming about State of the Union might-have-beens

President Donald Trump speaks with members of Congress as he leaves the House chamber after delivering his first State of the Union address Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Squint your eyes and imagine that a mainstream Republican (Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio or John Kasich) had somehow made it through the gauntlet of Donald Trump’s insults to win the GOP nomination and defeat Hillary Clinton. That mythical Republican president (Jeb John Rubio) might have given a State of the Union address with eerie similarities to Trump’s maiden effort.

President Rubio (or informally Jeb John) would have undoubtedly bragged about the buoyant economy.

The State of the Union in 3 Minutes
 

Trump Ups Infrastructure Spending Goal, but Offers No Details
White House may not have settled on a plan yet, Democrat says

Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling, left, and New Jersey Rep. Tom McArthur walk through Statuary Hall on Tuesday as crews set up television interview positions in preparation for President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump laid out a goal at his first State of the Union address Tuesday to spark $1.5 trillion in infrastructure spending from public and private sources and couple the new spending with an overhaul of permitting procedures for projects.

Trump spoke in broad strokes throughout the evening, and his brief mention of infrastructure left many questions unanswered about the administration’s long-promised and still undelivered plan. A House Democrat speculated Tuesday after a canceled White House briefing that the administration hadn’t itself settled on the answers.

Three Things to Watch During Trump’s First Official State of the Union
 

Hawaii’s False Missile Alarm Raises Question of Federal Control
‘States are the laboratories for democracy. They should not be laboratories for missile alerts’

Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, talks with a reporter in the Capitol on Oct. 31, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Chairman John Thune voiced support Thursday for draft legislation aimed at preventing erroneous emergency alarms like the one that sent the state of Hawaii into a panic over a nonexistent ballistic missile attack on Jan. 13.

In the first of two hearings on the issue, the committee explored the status of the nation’s wireless emergency alert, or WEA, system established by a 2006 law. The committee will hold a field hearing in Hawaii to examine in detail the false missile attack messages sent out via mobile telephones and television and radio stations after being triggered — and not being corrected for about 40 minutes — by an employee of the state’s emergency management agency.

Trump Adviser Says Infrastructure Push Won’t Have New Revenue
Amtrak, transit programs will be cut instead, he says

The White House says it will not include any new revenue sources to finance its plan for about $200 billion in infrastructure spending. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call file photo)

White House infrastructure adviser DJ Gribbin told a gathering of the U.S. Conference of Mayors on Thursday that the Trump administration’s upcoming infrastructure proposal will not include any new revenue to pay for $200 billion of new federal spending.

The White House’s proposal, to be released one to two weeks after the Jan. 30 State of the Union address, would be paid for with money from existing transportation programs, Gribbin said, adding that existing formula funding for major programs would not be touched. He later clarified that certain federal transportation money, including for Amtrak and transit programs, would be cut to pay for the program.

Senate Confirms Army Corps Chief
Get-out-of-town vote was overwhelmingly bipartisan

Senators confirmed the new head of the Army Corps of Engineers and then headed home. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate voted 89-1 Thursday to confirm Rickey Dale “R.D.” James to lead the Army Corps of Engineers, which will serve as the chamber’s get-out-of-town vote after a long haul of days that involved the government shutdown over the weekend. 

Earlier in the week, the chamber had expected to approve James by voice vote on Wednesday before a roll call vote on the nomination was scheduled for Thursday afternoon. Afterward, senators headed for the exits. 

Whiplashed Planners Fear GOP Swerve on Infrastructure
After close call on public-private financing tool, all eyes on 2018

Private activity bonds, or PABs, are fueling a multibillion-dollar expansion of Los Angeles International Airport. (Courtesy LAXDevelopment.org)

Los Angeles has gained national notice for a series of ambitious projects affecting all facets of southern California’s transportation network, from the city’s light rail system to Los Angeles International Airport.

Many of the projects — a multibillion dollar expansion of the airport, work on roads leading to and from the busy ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and a new light rail line, among others — were or will be financed with a tool called private activity bonds.