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Infrastructure Bill
July 9, 2021 by NAPA Government Affairs

Next week the legislative process in Washington kicks into high gear in the U.S. Senate on the infrastructure bill. This is what we know at this point:

Senate leadership plans to bring the infrastructure bill to the Senate floor the week of July 19. A group of 22 bipartisan Senators (G-22) has broken into 11 smaller sub-groups drafting sections of the legislation based on the framework agreement they reached with President Biden last month. Today, NAPA has been advised by Senate staff to expect legislative language and payfors to be released as early as the end of next week. At that point, NAPA will initiate grassroots calling for passage of the bipartisan agreement. 

Members of G-22

  • Richard Burr of North Carolina
  • Bill Cassidy of Louisiana
  • Susan Collins of Maine
  • Lindsey Graham of South Carolina
  • Jerry Moran of Kansas
  • Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
  • Rob Portman of Ohio
  • Mitt Romney of Utah
  • Mike Rounds of South Dakota
  • Thom Tillis of North Carolina
  • Todd Young of Indiana
  • Chris Coons of Delaware
  • Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire
  • John Hickenlooper of Colorado
  • Mark Kelly of Arizona
  • Joe Manchin of West Virginia
  • Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire
  • Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona
  • Jon Tester of Montana
  • Mark Warner of Virginia
  • Angus King of Maine
  • Jackie Rosen of Nevada

Federal-Aid Highway Program Reauthorization
The infrastructure package being hammered out by the G-22 is expected to carry the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act (STRA) reported out by the Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) last May. The STRA envisioned spending $304 billion for highways, roads and bridges over the next 5-years. The G-22 agreement will increase the funding levels to $361 billion over 5-years. Legislative text will provide additional details on how and when these funds would be allocated to the states. For comparison purposes, the chart below shows 5-year funding totals for highways, roads, and bridges under the various proposals as compared to the FAST Act and baseline spending.  

Buy America
It’s not clear yet how the G-22 will treat the Buy America issue addressed in the House INVEST in America Act. NAPA has been in contact with Senate offices on the issue and all members of the Senate have been advised of the negative implications broadening Buy America to include construction materials would have on project delivery. Meetings with the Senate are ongoing. You will be kept fully apprised.  

Carbon Emissions Reduction Program
NAPA has been working with a small group that has recently expanded to include the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA) and Portland Cement Association (PCA) to try and open up a newly proposed core Federal-aid Highway program that is designed to reduce on-road carbon emissions. The program is valued at $8 billion over 5-years and is intended to get people out of their cars and seek alternative modes of transportation. NAPA believes state transportation agencies should have the option to procure paving projects that reduce on-road emissions through smoother pavements utilizing low-carbon pavement technologies. A fact sheet that describes this effort can be downloaded here. 

NAPA Grassroots Activities
NAPA is joining forces with the largest U.S. business and labor organizations to press lawmakers to enact the $579 billion infrastructure deal. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and AFL-CIO, together with groups representing manufacturers, retailers and builders, announced the formation of a coalition that will advocate for passage of the infrastructure package.

“Now is the time to turn these promises into projects,” the Coalition for Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment said in a statement. “We urge Congress to turn this framework into legislation that will be signed into law.”

NAPA is also helping to fund an inside-the-beltway and targeted state-by-state ad campaign that will begin next week urging support for the passage of an infrastructure bill. The purpose of the campaign is to counter the misinformation put forth by many groups about the infrastructure bill. 

Lastly, all State Asphalt Pavement Associations have signed a letter calling for Senate leadership to schedule a full surface transportation reauthorization bill for floor consideration before the Senate adjourns for the August state work period. The letter will be sent to you once it's finalized.

Questions
If anyone has questions on funding, policies, or the legislative process please reach out to Jay or Ashley.  

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