In July 2017 President Donald Trump formed a Presidential Advisory Council on Infrastructure that was to be composed of private sector appointees. They were to make recommendations on a wide range of infrastructure issues and help with the details of President Trump’s $1 trillion infrastructure investment plan, which is expected to feature the use of Public Private Partnerships with the private sector. That council was disbanded last week before it was even formed along with two other CEO Councils, following the controversy over the president’s remarks about horrific events in Charlottesville.
Now the question is what will become of the $1 trillion infrastructure initiative, which is perhaps the only major proposal by the administration that has bipartisan approval.
William Eliopoulos, who is based in the Northern California office of Rutan & Tucker and who has worked on some significant infrastructure projects in the state as well as in other regions across the US told Globe St. one of the challenges is that the infrastructure initiative is tied to the tax bill, which either has to be passed first or concurrently with an infrastructure spending bill, at least at the magnitude that Trump has discussed.
“Given that Congress was unable to pass healthcare legislation recently, it is very unclear whether it can pass a major tax bill when it reconvenes in the fall,” he tells GlobeSt.com. “Thus, it appears unlikely that we will see significant infrastructure spending/funding legislation passed in 2017 in connection with the President’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan.”
But politics is not always so cut-and-dried; emotions have been running high since Trump’s election and the Republicans are acutely aware that they need to prove that they can govern.
“Infrastructure is one of Trump’s few agenda items that enjoys bipartisan support so it remains possible the GOP will pursue infrastructure precisely as a way to avoid” being seen as a failure, says Eliopoulos.