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A Flurry of Action on Transportation Authorization

By Ms. Aliyah Horton CAE posted 02-02-2012 01:28 PM

  

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (T&I) introduced, HR 7, The American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act on January 31. It is a $260 billion five year bill. The leadership has moved quickly in terms of introducing the bill and compelling action. Today, (Feb. 2) the committee is marking up the bill with numerous amendments up for consideration.

The bill implements a number of reforms in terms of eliminating earmarks, consolidating or eliminating programs, increasing flexibility within programs, streamlining project delivery as well as implementing performance measures. Some controversial issues that have raised the ire of many include truck weight issues, some labor provisions and elimination of the Transportation Enhancement and Safe Routes to Schools programs. While the bill under consideration in T&I is focused on policy, the bill’s funding level and intended revenue streams have raised concerns from two rather disparate groups. Newly elected Republican members elected to slash funding are concerned about the overall spending level. Democrats have expressed concern about the reliance on revenues from domestic energy investments. The financing provisions of the bill will be considered by the House Ways and Means Committee on Friday Feb. 3.

On the other side of The Hill, the Senate Banking and Finance Committees are also set to move on their portions of a surface transportation bill. The policy provisions, length and funding levels are so varied between the House and Senate. Our hope is that this flurry of activity will not result in a stalemate that only gets resolved after the Presidential election.

Please check back in the ITE Transportation and Legislative Community for more information and potential action items. If you are interested in actual bill text, please contact Aliyah N. Horton at ahorton@ite.org

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