By Eileen Houlihan, senior writer/editor, ARTBA

House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R- Pa.) is “optimistic” that infrastructure legislation can be passed soon, including an increase in federal investment. The bipartisan nature of infrastructure projects should help Congress work toward President Donald Trump’s call to invest $1 trillion in roads, bridges, airports and other critical work, Shuster said at a March 29 event sponsored by The Hill.

“There needs to be an increase in the federal portion to get to $1 trillion, it’s not all going to be federal, but there needs to be an increase,” Shuster said, adding that Public Private Partnerships (P3s) and streamlined regulation also need to be part of the mix.

He also said the bill could contain FAA reauthorization legislation, which is facing the Sept. 30 deadline of an earlier extension.

Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.), speaking separately at the same event, said he wrote an open letter to President Trump this week, urging the administration to focus on pairing infrastructure with international tax reform. He has filed two bipartisan bills this month to accomplish that goal, which he said is an “easier sell” than trying to tackle corporate tax reform.

Delaney said the president “needs a win” after efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act failed last week.

“I’d like to think that will lead him into infrastructure and international tax reform. The only way to pay for infrastructure is through tax reform,” Delaney said.

He also noted that a $1 trillion infrastructure program would create 10 million good-paying jobs.