Posts Tagged ‘surface transportation bill’

GOP House Members Releases Their Own Surface Transportation Authorization Legislation

June 20, 2020

Republican members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee have introduced their own surface transportation reauthorization bill to compete with one introduced earlier by Democrats.

The GOP bill, has been named the Surface Transportation Advanced through Reform, Technology, & Efficient Review Act.

Rep. Sam Graves (R-Missouri), the ranking GOP member of the House Transportation Committee, described the Democratic bill, named Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America Act, as a nonstarter.

Graves said the GOP proposal is a five-year surface transportation reauthorization bill that reflects Republican surface transportation principles.

The STARTER bill was initially introduced as an amendment during the committee markup sessions on the INVEST bill.

Graves said the INVEST bill is unlikely to win Senate approval, a chamber dominated by Republicans.

He said his vote against the INVEST bill was the first time in my 20 years on the committee that he had opposed a transportation reauthorization bill.

Political observers say neither the INVEST or STARTER bills is likely to be signed into law and are merely opening proposals and political posturing that will precede negotiations between the House and Senate over the final bill.

Whatever legislation emerges from that process and is sent to the White House is likely to be quiet different than what is contained in INVEST or STARTER.

What is likely to occur is each chamber will approve its own surface transportation bill and differences will be worked out in a conference committee.

Draft Transportation Bill Likely Before Summer

January 12, 2020

A draft surface transportation bill is expected to be released by the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure before summer but not this month as reported earlier.

Committee Chair Peter DeFazio said the committee would “release more specifics in the not-too-distant future.” He did not elaborate on when that would be.

The current law that authorizes spending on highways, transit, and passenger rail programs expires on Sept. 30.

“This is like the beginning of the beginning of the year,” DeFazio said. “We’re talking about the middle of the beginning of the year. That’s earlier than June but later than January.”

In the meantime the Senate Finance Committee has been considering its own surface transportation legislation and has found finding new revenue to be a struggle.

A draft highway reauthorization bill the committee is considering calls for spending $287 billion on highways but stagnant revenue in the Highway Trust Fund means the committee is $113 billion short of paying for the proposed authorization.

Legislation in the Senate reauthorizing public transit and passenger rail is not expected to be drafted until later this year.