House Committee Holds Second Hearing on Transportation Reauthorization
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held its second oversight hearing on the reauthorization of the Federal surface transportation programs on Tuesday, March 17. The Committee heard testimony from representatives of the National Governors Association, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and the National League of Cities.
The nation’s transportation infrastructure is an extensive network of highways, airports, railroads, public transit systems, waterways, ports, and pipelines. Over 4 million miles of public roads connect with nearly 20,000 airports, over 161,000 miles of railroad (freight and passenger), over 272,000 miles of public transit route miles, over 2.4 million miles of pipeline, over 25,000 miles of navigable waterways, and 360 commercial ports.
The talking points delivered by the witnesses and Members of the Committee were nothing new. Businesses are looking for Congress to pass a multi-year, fully funded reauthorization bill, to give them the certainty they need to begin the summer construction projects, which are currently being delayed. Members of the Committee stressed the desire of the Congress to pass a long-term bill, but are struggling at finding a funding source that could be agreed upon by both the House and the Senate.
In the summer of 2014, Congress passed and the President signed into law the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014 in order to extend MAP-21 through May 31, 2015. As a result of the short-term extension, reauthorization of federal surface transportation programs is a top priority again for the 114th Congress.
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