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How Would a Split Congress Deal with Infrastructure Bills?

How Would a Split Congress Deal with Infrastructure Bills?
October 24, 2018
Tom Ichniowski

Midterm election predictions at ENR press time give Democrats a decent chance of taking a House majority and Republicans retaining their Senate hold. That forecast isn’t a sure thing. But if it proves true on Nov. 6, construction views are split about whether a big infrastructure bill will fly in a divided Congress. Another question is whether a growing federal deficit will prevent a repeat of this year’s budget deal that gave infrastructure programs a two-year bonus of at least $20 billion.

In the Senate, Democrats need a net gain of two seats to wrest control from the GOP. But analysts predict Democrats will at best pick up one seat and Republicans may gain up to three. In the House, with seven current vacancies, Democrats need a 23-seat gain for the majority. They’re projected to add 20 to 40.

Some observers hope bipartisanship will propel a major infrastructure bill in 2019. Both sides have pro-infrastructure histories. In February, President Trump released a plan he pegged at $1.5 trillion over 10 years. In March, Senate Democrats issued a $1-trillion, 10-year plan... FULL ARTICLE

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