The Prospects for Infrastructure Investment in 2018

Association of Equipment Manufacturers's picture

Infrastructure investment featured prominently in the recently passed $1.3 trillion spending bill. The legislation prioritizes federal spending on several infrastructure programs that AEM has been actively advocating for lately. For starters, an additional $10 billion was included for specific infrastructure projects broadly defined. This is in addition to several priorities that will see enhanced investment:

  • An additional $2.5 billion for highways, bridges, and tunnels, including a 200 percent increase in the TIGER discretionary surface transportation grant program
  • An additional $1 billion for the Airport Improvement Program for upgrades to assets such as runways, taxiways, terminals and ramps
  • An additional $600 million in rural broadband investment
  • A 13 percent increase in Army Corps of Engineer funding for inland waterways, locks and dams
  • A total of $2.86 billion for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.

Budget is Done, So What’s Next?

Prospects for movement on a long-term, comprehensive infrastructure bill remain uncertain. Members of Congress from both parties have indicated that it remains a priority and the White House continues to signal that it wants to see something beyond the budget in the coming months. During the recent Associated Equipment Distributors/Equipment Dealers Association joint fly-in, AEM Senior Vice President Nick Yaksich moderated a panel discussion that featured several AEM member company representatives. The overwhelming consensus was the need to address the long-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund.

In the coming weeks and months, AEM will continue its outreach to Capitol Hill and the White House to make the case for long-term and sustainable infrastructure investment. AEM will play a key role during the upcoming Infrastructure Week 2018, when it will host a briefing on Capitol Hill to showcase the freight transportation needs of equipment manufacturers and the infrastructure challenges they face. The 2018 I Make America Fly-In will take place September 12-14, and will give AEM member companies another opportunity to advocate for infrastructure funding before the midterm elections.

For more information about AEM’s infrastructure advocacy efforts, please contact Nick Yaksich (nyaksich@aem.org) or Kate Fox Wood (kfoxwood@aem.org). 

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