Omnibus Federal Infrastructure Bill On Ice

On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders expressed trepidation about the pending arrival of an omnibus federal infrastructure bill anytime soon. She said during the White House Briefing:

I don’t know that there will be one by the end of the year.

President Trump had said himself earlier this year that any infrastructure overhaul would likely come after the November midterms. Additionally, President Trump’s infrastructure policy advisor, DJ Gibbin, resigned last month.

NACo Executive Director Matt Chase said the following:

It doesn’t look like Congress is going to pass an omnibus bill, but keep an eye on some of its various pieces. We are seeing parts of this getting attention in smaller, more targeted, legislation.

Specifically, he highlighted potential focus on aviation and water resources. This is significant to Maryland counties. According to the Maryland Department of the Environment, Maryland has 469 community water systems of varying sizes, many maintained by counties. In addition, there are a surprising number of local government-operated airports in Maryland.

The Hill reports similarly:

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) in early March also cut short hopes for a large package, saying the president’s infrastructure plan would likely come to fruition in five or six different pieces of legislation. In his explanation, Ryan pointed to two must-pass bills: the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization, which Congress passed last month, and the omnibus spending package. He also referenced the Water Resources Development Act, a water infrastructure bill Congress re-ups every two years.

NACo’s analysis of President Trump’s infrastructure framework, released last February, is available here.

Information about NACo engagement in Infrastructure Week – which is next week – is available here.