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Chao Says Highway-Transit Bill Could Be Infrastructure Vehicle

Chao Says Highway-Transit Bill Could Be Infrastructure Vehicle

Engineering News-Record
March 27, 2019
Tom Ichniowski

With talk percolating in Washington, though seemingly not on everyone’s front burner, about infrastructure legislation, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao is suggesting using the expected surface-transportation reauthorization bill as the main legislative vehicle, instead of rolling out that highway-transit measure along with a broader infrastructure proposal.

Testifying at a March 27 Senate appropriations subcommittee hearing on the Dept. of Transportation’s fiscal year 2020 budget request, Chao said, “Does it make sense to have two vehicles, an infrastructure bill and a surface reauthorization?”

She added, “Given the compressed time frame, it may very well be that…it’s easier for everyone—ourselves as well as the Senate and the House—to have one vehicle and that perhaps should be the surface reauthorization bill.”

Subcommittee Chair Susan Collins (R-Maine) noted that the Trump administration’s DOT budget proposal didn’t provide a solution to the revenue shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund, the main financial support for the highway program, and to a lesser degree, for transit, too. Collins said, “It is imperative that the administration work with the authorizing committees to enact a long-term surface transportation bill that provides realistic funding for the Highway Trust Fund." FULL ARTICLE

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