The state of infrastructure talks is fractious
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ANOTHER WEEK OF INFRASTRUCTURE TALKS AHEAD: The bipartisan Senate working group crafting an infrastructure invoice had hoped to provide an settlement by in the present day and arrange a possible second try at a take a look at vote this week. That’s in all probability not occurring. As an aide told POLITICO’s Burgess Everett, the group over the weekend was nonetheless attempting to kind by means of funding for highways and bridges, water infrastructure, transit and broadband, along with using unused Covid assist and Davis-Bacon labor provisions.
So, just about all the things. The transit disagreements are a subject of explicit curiosity (and rising concern) in most of transportation world. “Negotiations are in flux, however aides and lobbyists mentioned that Republicans are angling for transit to not obtain the complete 20 % of regardless of the invoice produces, however moderately some lesser quantity, arguing that transit pursuits have already acquired billions in Covid reduction cash,” our James Bikales reports. Numerous Democratic senators, together with committee chairmen Tom Carper and Sherrod Brown, have mentioned they’re combating to take care of the 80-20 break up and can “not reduce the normal funding of transit applications within the Freeway Belief Fund.”
Transit advocates are additionally rising uneasy concerning the path of the talks — and a few blame the Biden administration. Beth Osborne, the director of Transportation for America, mentioned it seems that the White Home believes it is extra vital to safe a one-time infusion of funds than preserve transit funding in the long run. “They’re underneath the impression that any deal is healthier than no deal,” she instructed POLITICO. “Frankly, I assumed the Senate was an even bigger downside than it seems they’re — it is the White Home that is not backing the senators up that is the larger downside.”
The most recent: On Sunday, Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), one of many lead Senate negotiators, clashed over the following steps for the bipartisan infrastructure bundle. Pelosi mentioned that whereas Home Democrats are “rooting for the infrastructure invoice to move,” she reiterated her pledge that the Home won’t take it up until the Senate additionally passes a separate $3.5 trillion social spending bundle. Portman responded that her feedback are “solely counter to what President Biden has dedicated to” and “inconsistent with the settlement we’ve on a bipartisan foundation.” Read more from POLITICO’s Marianne Levine.
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DeSANTIS GETS A BIG CRUISE INDUSTRY COURT WIN: A courtroom battle between Florida and the CDC over cruise business restrictions took one more activate Friday. A federal appeals courtroom inexplicably reversed its week-old ruling that had stored intact guidelines put in place by the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, a victory for Gov. Ron DeSantis that got here the identical day as DeSantis had requested the U.S. Supreme Courtroom to weigh in on the case, reports POLITICO Florida Matt Dixon.
“The cruise business is free to securely set sail once more!” declared a spokesman for the Republican governor. The political stakes for DeSantis are clear: “DeSantis used his battle with the CDC to amplify his hands-off method to pandemic, which has helped him construct a powerful conservative following nationally and is more and more seen as a top-tier Republican presidential candidate in 2024,” writes Matt.
HURRY UP, AND WAIT: A leaked presentation ready by the Treasury Board of Canada means that much more than a yr after the worldwide pandemic hit, Canada nonetheless lags different nations in growing a system to challenge and acknowledge proof of immunity to Covid-19. In a scoop for POLITICO, Jason Ling experiences that primarily based on shared pages from an inside PowerPoint presentation, Canada gained’t have a nationwide Covid-19 vaccine passport system till December 2021, on the earliest.
Why this issues: Whereas there aren’t any plans to make a vaccine passport necessary, a scarcity of a standardized, nationwide vaccine document may hobble Canadians’ potential to journey overseas because the world slowly reopens.
LOOKING FOR TOMORROW’S AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS: The FAA is launching a brand new consciousness marketing campaign to attempt to diversify the functions it receives to be air visitors controllers, aiming to listen to from extra girls, minorities and people from deprived communities. This yr’s ATC utility window is July 30 to Aug. 2, and the company has created a toolkit that it’s sending out to companions about recruiting a extra numerous set of candidates. “You realize what it takes to maintain the Nationwide Air System the most secure and best on the earth. And we are able to’t do it with out you. So assist us discover numerous, certified, and motivated people from throughout the nation to fill our applicant swimming pools,” wrote Deputy Administrator Brad Mims.
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