GOP chairman pushes White House to release outline of infrastructure plan

GOP chairman pushes White House to release outline of infrastructure plan
© Greg Nash

The head of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is pushing the White House to release a public outline of its $1 trillion infrastructure package this month.

“We’ve seen their outline, but that’s continuing to be adjusted,” Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) told reporters Tuesday. “We hope they’re going to make it public in the next week or so. It will be more of an outline or principles, so we can move forward and put meat on the bones.”

Shuster added that he has been talking to the administration for the last several months to provide  “advice on what we think is doable, what’s not doable.”

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The comments come a week after President Trump told members of the House Ways and Means Committee that public-private partnerships, which were supposed to be a core component of the infrastructure plan, may not be an effective funding tool.

Republicans have long insisted that any massive infrastructure proposal include funding that encourages more private investors to back public transportation projects.

“I don’t think it’s possible to do a bill that doesn’t have a mixture. It’s an all-of-the-above solution,” Shuster said. “All of us working together is I think how we get to the $1 trillion number.”

Trump’s infrastructure plan was supposed to be released late summer or early fall, but the timing has slipped as Congress has been dealing with health-care and tax reform.

While the rebuilding proposal will likely continue to take a back seat to Republicans’ tax overhaul, Shuster said it’s possible that infrastructure ends up moving alongside — or gets incorporated into — their tax effort.

“Tax reform has started to move, and infrastructure will follow. You can’t do an infrastructure bill unless you figure out the funding, and the Ways and Means Committee is the committee that is going to determine the funding,” Shuster said.

“I think they will move pretty closely together. I also believe that if tax reform gets slowed up a little bit somewhere, gets stuck, infrastructure is something that I think brings a lot of people on board. Especially when you go to the Senate.”