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Did Trump Inspire a Bipartisan Consensus on Infrastructure?

Republicans talked about raising taxes to fund infrastructure programs during a U.S. Housing Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure hearing this week.
February 10, 2019, 7am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Jeri Bland

Despite the President Trump's brevity on the subject of infrastructure in the State of the Union earlier this week, it seemed, for one day at least, that a bipartisan consensus emerged from the president's words.

That is Chris Teale's take on a Thursday hearing of the U.S. Housing Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, two days after the State of the Union.

"During a Thursday hearing of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, elected officials from both sides of the aisle said the timing for such a package appears to be perfect, given both parties’ willingness to tackle it, in addition to President Donald Trump mentioning such a plan in his recent State of the Union address," writes Teale.

Public figures testifying before the committee included Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, both of whom testified in favor of raising the federal gas tax as a means for paying for a federal infrastructure program.

"The issue of how to pay for those infrastructure investments has traditionally flummoxed politicians at all levels, especially with the Highway Trust Fund quickly running out of money," writes Teale. "But after an election cycle where Americans at the local and state level favored raising local gas taxes, there appears to be a renewed push to increase the federal gas tax, which has not been touched since 1993."

The committee’s ranking member, Rep. Sam Graves, R-MO, spoke in favor of introducing a Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) tax.

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Published on Friday, February 8, 2019 in Smart Cities Dive
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