Infrastructure Outline Could Come Oct. 9 Week: Chairman

By Shaun Courtney

A legislative outline of the Trump administration’s long-anticipated infrastructure plan could be made public the week of Oct. 9, the House Transportation and Infrastructure chairman told reporters Oct. 3.

The administration has shifted talk on the timing for the $1 trillion infrastructure proposal from the autumn to—most recently—after a tax overhaul.

“We hope they’re going to make it public in the next week or so,” Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) said. “It will be more of an outline or principles.”

Shuster’s counterpart in the Senate, Commerce Science and Transportation Committee, Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.), did not confirm that timeline, instead telling reporters that the administration has for some time been “telegraphing the fall.”

Shuster said he has been working with the administration for months and expects the infrastructure proposal to move closely with the tax effort underway in Congress as of the week of Sept. 25.

“Tax reform has started to move and infrastructure is going to follow,” Shuster said. “I think you can’t do an infrastructure bill unless you figure out the funding. The Ways and Means Committee is the committee that would determine the funding, so I think they’ll move pretty closely together.”

Tit for Tat?

Infrastructure could be used to sweeten the deal on the tax overhaul, Shuster said.

“If tax reform gets slowed up a little bit somewhere, gets stuck, infrastructure is something that I think brings a lot of people on board with tax reform, especially when you get in the Senate when it’s such a tight margin,” Shuster said.

Thune was less optimistic.

“I’ve always felt like those two could ride together and I’ve always felt like there’s a chance infrastructure could pull maybe some Dems along on tax reformm” Thune told reporters. “I’ve kind of abandoned that as wishful thinking.”

“I don’t think infrastructure would be enough to get Democrats on tax reform,” Thune added.

The Transportation Department did not respond to a request for comment on the legislative outline or the timing. The White House budget proposal for the agency included funding for an infrastructure package.

To contact the reporter on this story: Shaun Courtney in Washington at scourtney@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Hendrie at pHendrie@bna.com

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