Transportation discussions are moving at the federal level. In a divided Congress, President Donald Trump, Democratic leaders Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and chairs of infrastructure committees met early April 30 to discuss an infrastructure bill.
Details on the proposal are hazy, particularly surrounding funding, but the need for substantial investments in infrastructure is the clear standout from Tuesday’s meeting. Both parties have agreed on $2 trillion over 25 years for rebuilding crumbling infrastructure including roads, highways, bridges, tunnels, and railroads, modernizing air travel, and expanding broadband access to rural areas of the country.
While this meeting was a promising sign that big things would be happening in infrastructure investments, no Republicans were present.
Association of Oregon Counties County Road Program (AOC-CRP) Manager Brian Worley said of the possible package, “AOC-CRP is encouraged by this bipartisan effort, and we look forward to discussions about counties’ critical role in infrastructure. Oregon counties are responsible for 60 percent of Oregon’s non-federal road network, 32,831 total miles. In addition, counties maintain around 42 percent of bridges in the state. Federal funds play a big part in ensuring we can keep our roads and bridges connected and well-maintained.”
The President will meet again with Democratic leadership in three weeks to iron out specifics to an infrastructure proposal and identify financing options.
Contributed by: Megan Chuinard | Public Affairs Associate