Courier March Courier - Page 11

BUSINESS RELATING TO GOVERNMENT INSIGHTS ON U.S. LEGISLATIVE ISSUES AND INDUSTRY TOPICS Infrastructure outlook and state governments and with private sector investments. While many industries, including travel and tourism, have been patiently wait- ing for the release of the administration’s formal infrastructure package, the lack of time spent on the topic in the president’s address left many wondering if it is still a priority for this administration. Additionally, the path forward for any sort of infrastructure package remains unclear, as some believe that a plan is not possible without spending a large sum of federal dollars. However, coming together for an infrastructure plan could create a clear post-midterm election win for legislators on both sides of the aisle. The White House, on the same day as the State of the Union address, released a fact sheet highlighting points from the president’s address. This fact sheet pro- posed using half of new federal spending to motivate investment from the state and local levels, focusing a quarter of new federal funds on rural infrastruc- ture, and reducing regulatory barriers as a way to streamline the permitting process. Many in Washington are looking forward to the administration’s release of a more detailed infrastructure proposal, but as continuing resolution stopgap spending bills take up the congressional schedule, timing remains unclear. Even without an exact timeline, NTA remains optimistic that the administra- tion and Congress can come together on an infrastructure proposal that will facili- tate a more positive experience for travel- ers. NTA remains engaged with key offices on Capitol Hill to remind elected officials that the travel and tourism industry, a major section of the U.S. economy, relies on a safe and secure, fully funded, and modern infrastructure system. NTA, when participating in Destination Capitol Hill March 21–22, will continue to advocate for improve- ments to the United States’ infrastruc- ture and transportation system. Signal Group is a Washington, D.C., lobbying firm retained by NTA to advise members about travel-related issues and legislation. AFTER WHAT SOME MIGHT call a roller coaster first year in the White House, President Donald J. Trump delivered his first State of the Union address Jan. 30. The president took advantage of the national spotlight to highlight the accomplishments of his administration in his first year in office, and he took the opportunity to excite his base in the approach to the 2018 midterm elections. President Trump has been touting a forthcoming infrastructure plan ever since his 2016 campaign, and many expected more details to be highlighted in the address. However, the president was rather short on specifics for an infrastructure proposal. One of the only significant infrastruc- ture-related details that emerged from the State of the Union address was the president’s call for Congress to “produce a bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion for the new infrastructure investment that our country so desperately needs.” The president went on to state that every federal dollar should also be lever- aged through partnerships with local 9