Today, Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY), Ranking Democrat Tom Carper (D-DE), Highway Subcommittee Chair Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Subcommittee Ranking member Ben Cardin (D-MD) introduced America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2019 to reauthorize FAST Act programs. ATIA is a 5 year bill with funding levels of $287 billion (a 27% increase over current levels). Of that total, $259 billion (90%) will be distributed through formula programs to maintain and repair America’s roads and bridges. There are some new programs that they will be created and a few of those programs will be funded through HTF dollars including electric vehicle/alternative fuel infrastructure. There will also be a resiliency/climate component and streamlining provisions.
Barrasso and Carper have said they intend for the bill to be paid for through user fees and will work with the Finance Committee Chairman to get it done. Publicly they are not saying what those fees are but privately they are gauging support for increasing the gas tax to inflation, a commercial truck VMT, and an annual registration fee on electric and alternative fuel vehicles.
The bill will be marked up by the EPW Committee tomorrow and should be favorably reported out. This is only the highway portion of the reauthorization effort. Transit funding and issues are address by the Banking Committee, the Commerce Committee handles trucking issues and the revenue portion will be handled by the Finance Committee. All of these portions will be part of the final legislation.
AGC is currently evaluating what is in the introduced bill. Please keep in mind that a Manager’s amendment will be adopted in the markup tomorrow and additional free standing amendments will also be considered. This Is an important first step in the process to reauthorize the FAST Act before it expires on September 30, 2020.
AGC is issuing a statement in support of this effort and will also be sending letters in support. We will let you know what you can also do to support this initiative.