On Tuesday, President Trump delivered his 4th State of the Union (SOTU) address. During the address, President Trump called on Congress to "rebuild America's infrastructure," by passing the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee bill along with calls for increasing rural broadband access.
The America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA) (S. 2302) is the Senate’s $287 billion reauthorization of the expiring Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act. The ATIA is largely a continuation of highway policy as it has been done for decades, although it also has a first-ever climate title and buy-in from Democrats on the Environment and Public Works Committee. In contrast to the Senate bill, last week House Democrats announced their $760 billion infrastructure plan, which includes yet-to-be produced surface transportation legislation from House Transportation Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon) and a laundry list of other priorities. The two competing pieces of legislation are nowhere close to a compromise agreement. However, with President Trump’s promotion of the Senate’s bill in his SOTU address, with its significantly lower price tag, the Senate proposal has quickly become the more realistic goal for an infrastructure deal. Despite calls for compromise, both the Senate and House proposals are unlikely to ultimately pass the opposing chamber unless the November elections significantly alter the Congressional power balances.