By Lauren Schapker, vice president of legislative affairs, ARTBA
President Donald Trump used his Aug. 27 re-nomination speech at the Republican National Convention to reinforce his economic record. He promoted the achievements of his first term and pledged to “continue to reduce taxes and regulations at levels not seen before” if reelected.
“We will create 10 million jobs in the next 10 months,” he said from the South Lawn of the White House.
Transportation infrastructure was not mentioned during the remarks, but Trump outlined his goals in a 2018 plan. It includes a $200 billion federal investment in roads, bridges, and other infrastructure to leverage an estimated $1.5 billion in state, local, and private sector investment. Earlier this year, the Trump administration proposed a 10-year, $810 billion surface transportation bill in its FY 2021 budget.
The administration has repealed or reformed numerous regulations since 2017, most notably National Environmental Policy Act reforms finalized in July. These would speed transportation project delivery while keeping environmental safeguards in place.
The Republican convention also highlighted the administration’s achievements in workforce development by featuring Stacia Brightmon, who used the military apprenticeship program to secure a position at a construction and engineering firm. The administration has committed $100 million in expanding access to apprenticeships and workforce training programs.
Republicans reapproved their 2016 party platform instead of updating the policy document. The 2016 platform opposes increasing the federal gas tax and suggests phasing out transit and other non-highway spending from the Highway Trust Fund.
The televised four-day nominating convention featured virtual and in-person events. The planned gathering in Charlotte, North Carolina, was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
See ARTBA’s guide to Trump’s and Democratic challenger Joe Biden’s views on transportation investment.