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Passenger Trains > Infrastructure bill on the way?


Date: 12/06/18 07:43
Infrastructure bill on the way?
Author: Lackawanna484

Incoming House Infrastructure and Transportation chief Pete DeFazio (D-OR) gave his thoughts on an infrastructure bill in 2019.  Although a major infrastructure bill has been a priority since the Republican wins in 2016, internal difficulties and disagreements have prevented a bill from becoming law.

De Fazio favors an indexed federal tax on motor fuels, and also favors a vehicle miles traveled approach.  VMT is a fee based on miles traveled, and would sweep up the free riding electric powered vehicles. Oregon is exploring this approach as a way to supplement the motor fuels tax. 


https://thehill.com/policy/transportation/419880-incoming-dem-chairman-trump-wouldnt-be-able-to-take-full-credit-for-an



Date: 12/06/18 08:39
Re: Infrastructure bill on the way?
Author: Flyer92122

Honest question? With the Democrats in charge of the House will Republicans in the Senate still forcefully back Amtrak like they have? Or will it go back to slash and burn anything Democratic out of spite like it was under Obama. I don’t see Trump changing his tune but then I don’t see him not signing a budget presented to him either. Hopefully no one else jumps on the Mike Lee/Anderson/ Gardner/Chou/Mulverny bandwagon.  It’s going to be an interesting year.
 



Date: 12/06/18 09:28
Re: Infrastructure bill on the way?
Author: cchan006

Lackawanna484 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>  Although a major infrastructure bill has been a priority
> since the Republican wins in 2016, internal difficulties and
> disagreements have prevented a bill from becoming law.


Nice of De Fazio to extend an olive branch, but I see no signs that businesses will be different in D.C. so I don't have my hopes up.

> De Fazio favors an indexed federal tax on motor
> fuels, and also favors a vehicle miles traveled
> approach.  VMT is a fee based on miles traveled,
> and would sweep up the free riding electric
> powered vehicles. Oregon is exploring this
> approach as a way to supplement the motor fuels
> tax. 

Or we can apply similar standards to highway funding we do to Amtrak, like with food "profitability" per PRIIA. I know that's not possible with the highways, but how about imposing stricter cost controls before asking for more funding? Don't tell me highway construction is a totally transparent industry?



Date: 12/06/18 09:36
Re: Infrastructure bill on the way?
Author: cchan006

Flyer92122 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Honest question? With the Democrats in charge of
> the House will Republicans in the Senate still
> forcefully back Amtrak like they have?

Good question. Joemvcnj told us a credible theory on why Amtrak was a political target in the Reagan era (OMB's David Stockman's petty retaliatory politics), and I have my own theories on why Amtrak became a Republican target in the 2008 Presidential campaign.

The recent vote on the fate of Southwest Chief gives me hope that for once, Amtrak's like (or dislike) is not partisan anymore. I'm still holding out hope, so I won't mention my theories yet, which may become totally false once new Congress starts session.



Date: 12/06/18 12:27
Re: Infrastructure bill on the way?
Author: Lackawanna484

cchan006 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Lackawanna484 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> >  Although a major infrastructure bill has been
> a priority
> > since the Republican wins in 2016, internal
> difficulties and
> > disagreements have prevented a bill from
> becoming law.
>
> Nice of De Fazio to extend an olive branch, but I
> see no signs that businesses will be different in
> D.C. so I don't have my hopes up.
>
> > De Fazio favors an indexed federal tax on motor
> > fuels, and also favors a vehicle miles traveled
> > approach.  VMT is a fee based on miles
> traveled,
> > and would sweep up the free riding electric
> > powered vehicles. Oregon is exploring this
> > approach as a way to supplement the motor fuels
> > tax. 
>
> Or we can apply similar standards to highway
> funding we do to Amtrak, like with food
> "profitability" per PRIIA. I know that's not
> possible with the highways, but how about imposing
> stricter cost controls before asking for more
> funding? Don't tell me highway construction is a
> totally transparent industry?

One of Mitch McConnell's and Paul Ryan's problems has been the divide in the Republican caucus.  The Freedom Caucus part of the Republican Senate majority and former House majority is not going to vote for new taxes. Gas, diesel, whatever, no new taxes.  They've been very clear on that for years. 

President Trump would like a big infrastructure bill, with lots of spending goodies.  So would the Democrats and some Republicans.  The vote counting in 2019 may be different from 2018, but we'll have to see.



Date: 12/07/18 07:24
Re: Infrastructure bill on the way?
Author: Jishnu

Clearly the Freedom Caucus cannot hold the entire country to ransom in the House anymore, and in the Senate only 4 or 5 Republicans have to vote with the Democrats, provided of course the Democrats manage to hold together.

Incidentally Bush 41's  major achievement bill passed the House with the same dynamic, and eventually cost him his re-election possibly, due to the breaking of the "read my lips" thing. Alan Simpson described the entire thing very nicely at the National Cathedral the other day.



Date: 12/07/18 07:34
Re: Infrastructure bill on the way?
Author: abyler

cchan006 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Flyer92122 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Honest question? With the Democrats in charge
> of
> > the House will Republicans in the Senate still
> > forcefully back Amtrak like they have?
>
> Good question. Joemvcnj told us a credible theory
> on why Amtrak was a political target in the Reagan
> era (OMB's David Stockman's petty retaliatory
> politics), and I have my own theories on why
> Amtrak became a Republican target in the 2008
> Presidential campaign.
>
> The recent vote on the fate of Southwest Chief
> gives me hope that for once, Amtrak's like (or
> dislike) is not partisan anymore. I'm still
> holding out hope, so I won't mention my theories
> yet, which may become totally false once new
> Congress starts session.

Not much Amtrak service in those 200 Republican congressional districts.  That's why there is opposition.

Imagine if the Defense budget was spent 90% in Democratic districts.  Do you think the Republicans would support a large military?



Date: 12/07/18 07:38
Re: Infrastructure bill on the way?
Author: Lackawanna484

Alan Simpson on Bush 41:  "He always took the high road.  There's never much traffic there in the Washington area"



Date: 12/07/18 08:43
Re: Infrastructure bill on the way?
Author: Duna

Jishnu Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Clearly the Freedom Caucus cannot hold the entire
> country to ransom in the House anymore, and in the
> Senate only 4 or 5 Republicans have to vote with
> the Democrats, provided of course the Democrats
> manage to hold together.
>
> Incidentally Bush 41's  major achievement bill
> passed the House with the same dynamic, and
> eventually cost him his re-election possibly, due
> to the breaking of the "read my lips" thing. Alan
> Simpson described the entire thing very nicely at
> the National Cathedral the other day.


His longest-lasting achievment, still with us today, and growing, was promoting the New World Order. If you invested in arms manufacturers during his term, you did very well!



Date: 12/07/18 11:17
Re: Infrastructure bill on the way?
Author: jst3751

Jishnu Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Incidentally Bush 41's  major achievement bill
> passed the House with the same dynamic, and
> eventually cost him his re-election possibly, due
> to the breaking of the "read my lips" thing. Alan
> Simpson described the entire thing very nicely at
> the National Cathedral the other day.

And that is something that struck me as so ironic. His responce was that he would rather look like the bad guy for the betterment of the country and the country instead of appluading his devotion to the country turned on him for breaking his "read my lips no new taxes" statement.



Date: 12/07/18 11:19
Re: Infrastructure bill on the way?
Author: Lackawanna484

Read my lips = Bill Clinton elected

Was that good or bad for Amtrak?

Posted from Android



Date: 12/07/18 20:14
Re: Infrastructure bill on the way?
Author: DavidP

Lackawanna484 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Read my lips = Bill Clinton elected
>
> Was that good or bad for Amtrak?
>
> Posted from Android

On balance, good.  Lots of new equipment ordered - the P42s, F59PHIs, Talgos, Superliner IIs, Acela and HHP-8s.  NEC east end electrification funded and completed.  Offset somewhat by the LD cuts, but overall the 90s were relatively good to Amtrak.

Dave



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