How the GOP’s infrastructure privatization plan is faring in Congress
Posted On June 20, 2021
The GOP is now moving to privatize its nation’s roads and bridges, while also proposing a tax on the gasoline used in cars.
In addition to the transportation privatization, the GOP plan would slash funding for the National Institutes of Health and other health care programs and end the Medicaid expansion.
It also proposes to replace the Food and Drug Administration and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with a new, smaller, less regulated federal agency, which would include many of the same rules that have long protected consumers from predatory lenders.
The House Ways and Means Committee will take up the House-passed transportation bill Thursday, and the Senate Finance Committee is expected to vote on it Tuesday.
The legislation would not require approval by the U.S. Senate.
On Wednesday, the House Ways & Means Committee released a summary of its plan to privatized infrastructure.
But the committee has already said it won’t vote on the Senate-passing legislation.
A majority of the Republican-led House will need 60 votes to overcome a filibuster, and it is not clear how many of those votes will be needed.
President Donald Trump, who is expected in Washington on Thursday, said Wednesday that he was “not going to allow infrastructure to fail.”
The Republican plan, he said, would “build a future for America.”
“The Trump administration is not going to let it happen,” Trump said.
While the Republican plan does not contain any major changes to the current federal highway system, it would eliminate funding for a program that provides funding for construction of highway projects.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the new funding proposal would cost the U,S.
Treasury $1.9 trillion over a decade, and that figure includes the cost of infrastructure improvements.
The Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act would fund infrastructure development for at least 10 years, starting in 2021.
Currently, the Department of Transportation is the lead agency for highway construction and reconstruction, with the Federal Transit Administration and local governments funding other infrastructure projects.
In a separate report, the Congressional Research Service found that the proposed funding would reduce the cost and improve the safety of U.s. transportation infrastructure projects by $1 trillion over 10 years.
Other provisions of the GOP transportation bill include:The bill would eliminate the current National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is responsible for inspecting, regulating and enforcing roadways.
Under the bill, the DOT would become a “public entity” under the Transportation Equity Act, meaning the agency would have more freedom to use private and private-sector money to make projects more efficient.
The DOT would also get more oversight of its contractors.
The bill proposes a $2 billion fund for the construction of new toll lanes in some U. S. states, a $100 million fund for road repair and resurfacing, and $100 billion over 10 decades for a network of private and public roads and highways to improve safety and capacity.
The Senate Finance Subcommittee on Infrastructure and Communications would take up its version of the bill in a hearing on Thursday.
Congressman Matt Salmon, a Republican from Arizona, is chairman of the House Transportation Committee and is a leading critic of the proposed legislation.