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May 9, 2017 12:01 AM, EDT
Capitol Agenda for the Week of May 9: Mayors Fight for Infrastructure
Mulero, Trotter by Joseph Terry/Transport Topics

The country’s mayors are reminding federal policymakers that just like all politics is local, so too are infrastructure needs. Five months after Vice President Mike Pence told the country’s mayors in Washington, D.C., to expect a “big” infrastructure funding package from the administration, the mayors want to know when the benefits of that plan will reach their cities.

Garcetti by Patrick Fallon/Bloomberg News

To reaffirm their concerns and outline funding priorities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors recently established a Task Force on Infrastructure, led by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D). The group will emphasize its views during Infrastructure Week, which kicks off May 15.

Mayors intend to continue to make clear to the White House, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao and congressional leaders that a long-term funding plan meant to help rebuild and modernize infrastructure would enhance freight mobility and commerce.

“The path to economic prosperity runs through our investments in America’s infrastructure,” Garcetti said in a statement. “That means upgrading our roads and rail systems, modernizing our airports and ports of entry to better compete on the global stage, strengthening our water systems and creating partnerships in telecommunications to better connect our communities.”

Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett (R), the conference’s president, has stressed the group’s support for the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants, designed to assist cities and states with large-scale projects. He also has noted the importance of tax exemption for municipal bonds, which are used for financing infrastructure projects.

The mayors, as well as myriad transportation stakeholders and the freight industry, are coming together for Infrastructure Week. Now they’d like to hear about that “big” plan from President Trump.

AFL-CIO's TOM TROTTER ON INFRASTRUCTURE:

Tom Trotter, legislative affairs representative for the AFL-CIO, talks with TT's Eugene Mulero about the cost of inaction on infrastructure, a funding balance in Trump’s plan, and the role of P3s.

THE WEEK AHEAD (all times EDT):

May 9, 9:30 a.m.: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration meets on "Electronic Logging Devices and Hours-of-Service Supporting Documents" to discuss minimum requirements for ELDs and help manufacturers produce ELDs that will comply with regulations.

May 9, 2:30 p.m.: The Senate Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure meets for a hearing on "Water Resources: The Role of the Public and Private Sectors."

May 10, 11:45 a.m.: InsideSources and the Association of American Railroads hold a discussion on "The Power and Value of Rail in the U.S."

May 10, 2 p.m.: Bloomberg Government conducts a webinar on "Tax Reform Is Coming: What to Watch."

May 12, noon: The Aspen Institute holds a discussion on "Finding Common Ground in an Era of Partisanship."

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

TIGER: Legislation that would ensure funding for the federal government through the end of September advanced with funding for the Obama-era grants for infrastructure projects.

SWIFT: The company is reaching out to young people with a new digital marketing campaign that promotes the carrier's unique culture, size and emphasis on people.

BIG BROWN: UPS Inc. has agreed to purchase Nightline Logistics Group, a package delivery and logistics firm based in Ireland.

WHAT WE’RE READING:

The Oracle of Omaha has spoken. In an interview with CNBC, billionaire investor Warren Buffett opined on the effects driverless trucks could have on the movement of freight.

FAVORITE QUOTE:

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg News

“As I told Mr. Trump’s transportation adviser, I said, ‘I really think the people who live in Trump country out there aren’t going to be really pleased if they’re still paying a federal gas tax and now they’re paying a private entity to repair their bridges or resurface or rebuild their rural interstate.’ That’s not going to go over too big.”

 — Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), ranking member on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, May 7 on C-SPAN’s Newsmakers.

FAVORITE VIDEO:

Secretary Chao tells Bloomberg News the administration is “making a lot of progress” in coming up with an infrastructure funding package.

FAVORITE TWEET:

View from the open road.

Thanks for reading Capitol Agenda. We publish Tuesdays when Congress is in session. E-mail emulero@ttnews.com with tips. Follow us @eugenemulero and @transporttopics.