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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Trump, Democratic leaders agree on $2 trillion surface transportation package

President Donald Trump
Photo – Twitter


On Tuesday, President Donald Trump, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) agreed to work together on a $2 trillion surface transportation infrastructure package.

Pelosi and Schumer led a Democratic delegation to the White House to discuss a bipartisan infrastructure bill. The two had sent a letter to President Trump outlining several priorities for a comprehensive bill.

The meeting was constructive, with the president suggesting the $2 trillion to build and rebuild the nation's infrastructure, Pelosi and Schumer said in a joint statement.

"Building America's infrastructure is about creating jobs immediately, and also bolstering the commerce it facilitates, advancing public health with clean air and clean water, and improving the safety of our transportation system, and addressing climate change with clean energy, clean transportation and resilient infrastructure," they said.

The parties agreed to meet again in three weeks to discuss the president's ideas for funding a transportation package.

"We have an historic opportunity to build infrastructure for the future, and an urgency to address the safety needs that our crumbling infrastructure represents," Pelosi and Schumer said.

The agreement on a transportation budget amount prompted the following statements:

"We are encouraged by the spirit of bipartisanship and commitment to addressing infrastructure investment needs in the United States. Now is the time for action. Investing in America's public transportation infrastructure benefits people in large and small communities across this country. We stand ready to support Congress and the Administration on infrastructure legislation." — Paul Skoutelas, president and chief executive officer of the American Public Transportation Association

"The meeting was a big step in the right direction in our work to develop a robust, bipartisan plan for infrastructure investment. Two trillion dollars is a significant federal investment that could make a real difference in communities across this country, whether we’re talking roads, bridges and transit systems, or harbors, airports and wastewater systems. I'm encouraged to hear the widespread agreement on the need to act on infrastructure — and to act soon —  and I look forward to continuing this critical conversation with the White House and House and Senate leadership in the coming weeks." House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chair Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.)

"We need to make our infrastructure better, stronger and safer. In doing so, we can support job creation and put hundreds of thousands of Americans back to work in red states and in blue states. It’s not enough for us to repair the infrastructure designed and built in the past. It's time we stop throwing good money after bad, and start investing in roads, highways, bridges and transit systems that will harness innovation and withstand the impacts of our changing climate." — Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee

"We applaud the bipartisan acknowledgement that America’s transportation system needs additional federal investment. The people and businesses who rely on our nation’s multimodal transportation network understand that despite the best efforts of state departments of transportation and their local and regional counterparts, they cannot keep up with growing demand and a deepening backlog of maintenance. We welcome the announced plan to pursue additional federal investment and we look forward to working with Congress and the White House on legislation to shore up the Highway Trust Fund and to get America moving again." — Jim Tymon, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/1/2019