Blog Topic: National Policy & Advocacy

White House Releases Backwards Infrastructure Package and Spending Priorities

A week ago, Congress reached agreement on overall spending caps, which would allow for significant increases in defense and domestic spending in FY2018 and FY2019.  Their agreement includes an additional $10 billion per year for two years to put towards different kinds of infrastructure investments (broader than just transportation).  Congress now has about six weeks to divide those overall increases into the funding allocations for federal programs and agencies.

What We Value for Any Infrastructure Package

On January 30, President Trump delivered his state of the union. A few sentences in his speech referenced the long-delayed infrastructure package, as he called on Congress to pass a bill that would pair any Federal dollars with state, local, and private investments to “build gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways, and waterways.”

Congress Kicked the Can to January

There was a pile-up of legislative priorities in December, and Congress ended up getting a tax bill through but punted action on spending levels, the DACA immigration policy, and stabilizing the health insurance market to 2018.  This means that January is now full of deadlines.

It’s Crunch Time for Congress

With the remaining days of the year quickly winding down, Congress has a very short window to address a legislative pileup.

Congress has not yet reached agreement on spending levels for government agencies, with the current extension ending on December 8.  There is likely to be an extension for another few weeks or even until early January.   Negotiations have been challenging, as they include spending levels as well as a resolution to the end of the DACA immigration policy for young people—so a government shutdown is not out of the picture.

Automated Vehicles: Back to the Future

When I was growing up, I thought we’d all be zooming around the skies, by now, in our automated bubble vehicles - like the Jetsons. Turns out, I wasn’t too far off.

Though not for flying around in the blue yonder, automated vehicles (AV) are in our very, very near future. Already, there are actual demonstration AVs on public roads - can you imagine a car or bus without a steering wheel? Vehicles like these are being tested now.

Most states make big moves on TAP; some squander TAP funds

Kids walking and bikingWe have been beating the drum for several months now to encourage states to fully spend their Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) funds before the critical deadline of September 30, 2017, when any unused FY2014 funds would expire after four years.