DC Update: Commitment to De-regulation, Infrastructure Builds Could Impact Industry
This week was another busy one in DC, with an infrastructure package being the main focus. On Tuesday evening, President Donald Trump gave his first joint address to Congress. President Trump encouraged lawmakers to pass legislation that produces a $1 trillion investment in infrastructure using a combination of public and private money. While the President indicated that this is a top priority, he did not provide many details on how the federal government will pay for the project.
The infrastructure discussion continued on Wednesday with the House Transportation Aviation Subcommittee holding its second FAA reauthorization hearing. There was a general consensus that aviation infrastructure needs to be updated, but funding the updates is still an issue. Suggestions for airport funding included increased direct charges for air cargo or increasing taxes on aviation fuels. If implemented, both of these changes will affect remote production. Stay tuned for updates on how these suggestions unfold.
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) had their annual Washington meeting with lawmakers on Wednesday. Yet again, funding the infrastructure package was the main topic of discussion, with lawmakers unable to give definite answers.
In other news, President Trump advanced his efforts to roll back regulations by issuing an executive order that instructs agencies to create “regulatory reform task forces” that look at current regulations and recommend rules to change or repeal. Several regulations that affect the remote-production industry – such as the speed-limiter rule or ELDs – may be affected by these recommendations.
Thursday marked the 57-day countdown until DOT appropriations run out. FAA reauthorization expires in 212 days, and the highway and transit policy is up for renewal in 1,309 days.
The issue of how to fund the infrastructure package is not going away anytime soon. So look out for next week’s D.C. Update for the latest news.