After President Obama unveiled a wide-ranging transportation and infrastructure plan last week, where do we go from here?
Obama touched on several major themes, including: significant rehabbing or construction of roads, rails and runways; long-term reauthorization of the surface transportation law; an infrastructure bank meant to replace the earmark system for federal transportation spending; general streamlining of surface transportation investments; putting high-speed rail "on an equal footing" as a federal priority; and "a robust investment" in the NextGen air traffic control system.
The White House didn't offer many funding specifics, but the initial $50 billion for the infrastructure bank would be offset by doing away with tax breaks for oil and gas companies.
What parts of this plan are you most excited about and most wary of? What will it do for the nation's unemployment problem? How should the bank's initial $50 billion be allocated among roads, rails and runways, and where should the money come from to pay for the rest of the plan? And when will Congress take up the proposal? Is bipartisan consensus possible on any part of it before or after the midterms?