Covington & Burling


Jack Schenendorf

This is a critically important time for federal transportation programs. While many experts argue that we must not only maintain, but substantially increase federal investment in transportation infrastructure, some advocates are now calling for the opposite approach—“devolution” of transportation programs to the States, either in part or in full. This paper assesses those arguments from a conservative perspective and makes the case for continuing the current cooperative federal-state regime. Although devolution may seem superficially appealing, it would conflict with the nation’s long and unbroken history of federal transportation investment, balkanize the nation’s transportation networks, cause a substantial drag on the economy, and bring about a host of other serious problems.    Read on…