Leif Wathne attended AASHTO’s Washington Briefing last week, including the Transportation Policy Forum Meeting, where AASHTO’s policy priorities were reviewed and discussed.
The highest priority is fixing the HTF as part of any infrastructure legislative package that may be advanced. Several revenue mechanisms are recommended, including raising the taxation rate (fee rates) of existing federal revenue streams, including the motor fuels tax; heavy vehicle user fees; and sales tax on trucks, trailers and truck tires.
FAA authorization that grows the AIP program is also a policy priority for AASHTO. Congressional Leadership priorities were also highlighted during the briefing, as provided by the Chairmen and Ranking Members of both the House T&I and Senate EPW committees.
It’s still unclear how Congress will tackle infrastructure in the wake of the Administration’s release of its proposal, but one challenge is coming up with the requisite revenues to provide meaningful, sustainable infrastructure investment long term. It was clear during the meeting the longer Congress waits to address this challenge, the more costly it will be.