Pavement Preservation Journal - Summer 2017 - 29
HOW FP 2 WORKS FOR YOU
BY TRACY TAYLOR
he Trump Administration spent
much of its first 100 days in office
focusing on repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care
At press time in mid-April, that goal has
proved elusive, and while the administration
scored a decisive victory in the confirmation
of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, the
administration and Congress continue to look
for ways in which they can work together to
achieve legislative victories that will improve
the economy for the American people.
While health care proved a difficult issue
around which to coalesce, support for infrastructure appears to be something of which
the majority of Congress can agree.
And why not, when the American Society
of Civil Engineers (ASCE) noted in its recently
released 2017 Infrastructure Report Card that
the economic consequences of our failing
infrastructure will result in "$3.9 trillion in
losses to the U.S. GDP by 2025; $7 trillion in
lost business sales by 2025; and 2.5 million
lost American jobs in 2025."
This-coupled with the traffic delays from
our overcrowded, underfunded roads cost the
country $160 billion in wasted time and fuel
in 2014 alone, according to the report-adds
to the bipartisan appeal of tackling this costly
issue facing our country.
Most in Congress and the administration
can agree on the problem, but how to solve
it remains the issue of much discussion
President Donald J. Trump and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao have discussed a $1 trillion infrastructure package
that would extend more than 10 years, and
focus on a cross section of infrastructure needs
which may include things as broad as air traffic
control, roads and rail, energy, water, broadband, veterans hospitals, and even housing.
The White House has discussed improving
these infrastructure needs through a variety
of different mechanisms such as incentivizing
and leveraging private investment, tax reform,
and streamlining regulations.
There has been much discussion about the
best way to invest in our infrastructure and,
of course, how it will be paid for. Taken as
a whole, the idea of passing a trillion-dollar
infrastructure bill seems nearly as impossible
as repealing the Affordable Care Act or passing a comprehensive immigration reform bill.
But, when the package is deconstructed
and discrete parts are looked at separately,
the puzzle becomes more manageable.
Congress will work to pass a tax reform bill
this year. Adding infrastructure investment to
a tax reform bill could sweeten the deal for
some members of Congress, and it could provide funding mechanisms for transportation
through possible repatriation of overseas corporate assets or tax incentives for investment
Decreasing the overall corporate and
individual tax rate could also make funding the highway trust fund more palatable.
Throughout the year there will be multiple
opportunities for the administration and
Congress to work together to pass legislation improving our surface infrastructure and
paying for those improvements.
It's important that as an industry we continue to remind Congress about the societal
and economic cost of neglecting our infrastructure, and the benefits of preserving and
It's not important that Congress and the
administration accomplish the goal of improving infrastructure in one major bill or a series
of smaller bills. What is important is that they
do not forego the opportunity to invest in our
Funds available for preservation and
maintenance-as well as capacity improvements-are one key way in which President
Trump and Congress can make a lasting
impact on the American economy. Investment
in surface transportation will lift all boats.
It's our goal to make sure Congress and the
administration are sensitive to the benefits
of pavement preservation as they tackle this
Taylor is principal at FP2's legislative counsel,
Williams & Jensen PLLC
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Summer 2017 | PAVEMENT PRESERVATION JOURNAL
17/10/14 2:04 PM