Despite rhetoric from lawmakers about plans to fix the nation's roads, bridges and other public assets, infrastructure spending in Q2 2017 was, at 1.4% of total U.S. economic output, at its lowest recorded level. Infrastructure investment was lower in 34 states last year than it was in 2007. The federal government is also struggling to keep the Highway Trust Fund full with the current 18.4-cents-per-gallon national gas tax. Raising the tax to 31 cents per gallon is necessary to make a dent in surface transportation work.Congress awaits details on President Donald Trump's $1 trillion infrastructure plan, but the labor shortage and Republicans' and Democrats' inability to reach a consensus on many other issues has the potential to sideline that initiative.

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