U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon), Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, announced the first hearing of the Committee for the 116th Congress this week. Scheduled for Thursday, February 7, 2019, the hearing will be titled “The Cost of Doing Nothing: Why Investing in Our Nation’s Infrastructure Cannot Wait.” Committee Democrats will use the hearing to launch their case for massive infrastructure investment and reform. In the hearing, Chairman DeFazio is expected to emphasize the cost of leaving the U.S.’s failing infrastructure to crumble, in order to spur lawmakers into action.
The House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures will also hold a hearing on infrastructure next week to examine potential tax measures to pay for massive federal investment. Pay-fors and revenue measures will be a contentious topic of debate throughout the drafting process for any legislation that includes the trillion dollar investment in infrastructure hoped for by President Trump.
President Trump held a call this week with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) in preparation of the State of the Union address on Tuesday, February 5, 2019. The two reportedly discussed infrastructure, one of the few issues they agree on. President Trump could renew his call for a trillion dollar infrastructure package in his address on Tuesday, and further catalyze the political momentum for legislation.