The legislation would establish the Freight Transportation Infrastructure Trust that would distribute the funds through a formula and competitive programs.
Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D-Calif., on Tuesday introduced the National Multimodal and Sustainable Freight Infrastructure Act, which would establish the Freight Transportation Infrastructure Trust Fund paid for through a national 1% waybill fee on the transportation cost of goods.
The collected funds would be distributed through a formula program to each state based on the amount of existing infrastructure within the state and a competitive grant program that would be open to all local, regional and state governments. The competitive grant program would have 5% of funds set aside for zero-emissions projects, according to the statement announcing the legislation.
“The bill would raise over $10 billion a year dedicated to freight-related infrastructure projects throughout the nation, with a focus on multimodal projects and projects that rebuild aging infrastructure while relieving bottlenecks in the freight transportation system,” the statement on Lowenthal’s website reads.
The bill was referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure as well as the Committee on Ways and Means.
The legislation was cosponsored by the following lawmakers: Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore.; Tony Cardenas, D-Calif.; Matt Cartwright, D-Pa.; Gil Cisneros, D-Calif.; Robin Kelly, D-Ill.; Mark Meadows, R-N.C.; Gwen Moore, D-Wis.; Grace Napolitano, D-Calif.; Mark Pocan, D-Wis.; Harley Rouda, D-Calif.; Mark Takano, D-Calif.; and Katie Hill, D-Calif.
“A dedicated, fully multimodal and multi-jurisdictional freight program such as Congressman Lowenthal’s proposed legislation merits serious consideration as a funding model,” said Tim Lovain, the Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors chairman, in a statement. “This proposal comes at a critical juncture, when Congress and the administration are seeking to sustain economic competitiveness through infrastructure investment.”
President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders have agreed to a $2 trillion infrastructure spend. The two sides are expected to meet again this month to discuss how to fund the package.