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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation
T&I Chair Shuster introduces draft of infrastructure plan
House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) has introduced a draft of an infrastructure plan that would be funded in part by an increase in fuel taxes.
The plan calls for significant federal investment in infrastructure projects and grant programs at least through 2021, as well as a plan to shore up the Highway Trust Fund (HTF).
"The 2016 presidential campaign shined a spotlight on America's crumbling infrastructure. Since election day, the American people have waited for action by their federal elected representatives, and I am just as frustrated as they are that we have yet to seriously consider a responsible, thoughtful proposal," Shuster said in a prepared statement.
He developed his plan with input from Republicans and Democrats, he said.
"This discussion draft does not represent a complete and final infrastructure bill. It is meant to reignite discussions amongst my colleagues," he said, adding that a bill will be prepared over the coming weeks and months.
Shuster proposes increasing federal user fees on gasoline and diesel fuel by 15 cents per gallon and 20 cents per gallon, respectively. The increases would be phased in over three years. Once the phase-in is completed, the user fees would be indexed to inflation, then zeroed out in 2028.
The HTF reform plan calls for the creation of an HTF Commission of experts to study and recommend solutions to ensure the fund's long-term solvency. In addition, the plan would establish a national, voluntary pilot program to test the viability of replacing current HTF user fees with a per-mile user fee.
To read the proposal, click here.
Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.