ACPA participated in a virtual roundtable hosted by the Highway Users’ Board of Directors. The virtual roundtable with Senate Public Works Committee Ranking Member Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) focused on the ongoing bipartisan transportation reauthorization negotiations with the White House and the EPW Committee Democrats.
Leif Wathne represented ACPA on the republican roundtable with RM Capito, who provided a brief overview of the $568 billion republican framework, and shared insights about the ongoing process of negotiations. She said she was encouraged by the White House’s input, adding, “I think we came out with a great first step in this process.”
She said President Joseph R. Biden called and asked the EPW Committee leaders to move forward with next step.
“We’re trying to get a highway bill done without a lot of carveouts,” she said, adding that EPW Chairman Thomas Carper (D-DE) has set a date of May 26th to complete markup. “This is not a lot of time, but we do have a framework.”
She said she has been in close contact with House T&I Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO) as well. “On the larger core infrastructure piece, I think the country is hungry to get this done,” she noted.
When asked how much wiggle room is there for agreement on infrastructure with the Administration, she noted that the administration appears to be serious about negotiating and believes it is a good-faith effort on their part. When comparing apples to apples, there really is not as much distance between the proposals as often reported, she added. Of course, as usual, the main sticking point is likely to be how to pay for the infrastructure investment. Stay tuned as more information becomes available.
Photo: Senator Shelley Moore Capito, from the Senator’s website.
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