Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) speaks at the TCC Fly-In.

By Mark Holan, editorial director, ARTBA

The Senate is developing its own infrastructure investment plan as it awaits a proposal from President Donald Trump.

“We are moving ahead on our own bill,” Senate Environment & Public Works (EPW) Committee Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) May 17 told attendees at the Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) Fly-In.  “I’ve met with every Democrat on the committee. We are working with the White House, but we are not going to wait.”

Nearly 500 industry executives participated in the annual TCC event.  They will be meeting with members of Congress and their staffs May 18 to push for a permanent Highway Trust Fund fix as part of any tax reform package that emerges this year.

Barrasso said the Senate will consider a variety of funding sources to pay for the work, but added responsibility ultimately rests with the Senate Finance Committee.  “I want to get rid of regulations to lower [project] prices,” he said.

In his remarks, House Transportation & Infrastructure (T&I) Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) noted, “I’ve been telling the White House it is imperative to pass something [an infrastructure bill] this year.”

Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.), a member of the House T&I Committee, said “there is a will in Congress” to pass a major infrastructure bill.  And Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), a member of the House Ways & Means Committee, told the group that while the president’s $1 trillion infrastructure proposal is “light on details, but I like the number.”