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Lawmakers at Odds on Infrastructure Bill

A consensus is lacking on how to pay for the package

House Democrats have vowed to introduce legislation to improve U.S. infrastructure in the coming weeks, but consensus is lacking on how to pay for the package.

House leaders say passage depends on President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans moving away from the administration’s proposal to stick states, localities and the private sector with most of the $1.5 trillion cost for building new roads, bridges and other public works projects. Trump’s plan would provide $200 billion in federal funding over a decade to entice states and cities to spend several times that amount on public works.

“Getting infrastructure done means paying for it,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) told Bloomberg BNA this week. “And while everybody wants to invest in infrastructure, it is more problematic from many perspectives of how you pay for that.”

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) will take the lead in drafting an infrastructure funding plan and it is likely to include more federal spending than the plan put forth by President Trump.

Groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Society of Civil Engineers have endorsed raising the gas tax by 25 cents over the next five years to help pay for infrastructure improvement. Aside from the funding mechanism, Democrats are likely to want an infrastructure bill to include provisions to promote clean energy and combat climate change, which could also be a non-starter for Trump and the GOP.

This article was provided to OSAE by the Power of A and ASAE's Inroads.

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