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Legislative 001 - TEA-21 Update

Thursday, February 03, 2005   (0 Comments)
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Senator Reid Calls for Increased Infrastructure Investment

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is calling on his colleagues and President Bush to make addressing the nation’s infrastructure challenges a national priority. Reid told a meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C., January 19: “Infrastructure is both - literally and figuratively - the cornerstone on which America is built. We will never accomplish any of our loftier goals if we don’t take care of our most basic needs.” He added “Our national infrastructure has been neglected and now it’s crumbling.”

Reid specifically called for early action on legislation to reauthorize the federal highway and transit programs, “It would be irresponsible not to work in a bipartisan manner to pass a highway bill early this year.” He also said he would be introducing legislation that he called an “American Marshall Plan” to invest in the nation’s cities and rebuild the nation’s infrastructure. Reid closed his comments about his proposal by saying: “I understand that we have a ballooning federal deficit. But investing‚ is different than spending. Wise investments are always prudent.”

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norm Mineta, addressing the same group, implied that the amount of money provided by the reauthorization bill should not be the main focus of debate: “Our proposal, called SAFETEA, represents the largest investment of its kind that this country has ever seen.” He added,“So I hope that this year, legislators will spend less time fretting over funding amounts and focus more on what our bill will accomplish - for it is a true blueprint for investment in our future.”

Source: ARTBA

Levin, Voinovich kick-off donor equity effort in Senate

Donor state equity champions in the United States Senate, led by Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) and Senator George Voinovich (R-OH) have begun the effort in the Senate to ensure that the final TEA-21 reauthorization bill to be considered by the 109th Congress include improvements to highway funding equity. A “Dear Colleague” letter is currently being circulated seeking original co-sponsors of the Voinovich-Levin Highway Funding Equity Act of 2005. This bill will guarantee every state at least a 95% minimum rate-of-return in highway funds.

Majority of House T&I Donors


Members of the key House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee (T&I) for the 109th Congress have been announced. This committee has primary jurisdiction over reauthorization of the federal highway bill (TEA-21), which expires on May 31, 2005.

In a key development for donor states, 40 of the 73 overall committee members are from “donor” states that contribute more to the federal highway trust fund than they receive for road repairs. The new T&I Committee is comprised of 73 members, (41 Republicans 34 Democrats).

Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Members

109th Congress (listed by Donor Status)

 

Republicans

John L. Mica, (FL)

Connie Mack, (FL)

Kenny Marchant, (TX)

Lynn Westmoreland, (GA)

Mario Diaz-Balart, (FL)

Ted Poe, (TX)

Frank A. LoBiondo, (NJ)

Henry E. Brown, Jr., (SC)

Peter Hoekstra, (MI)

Vern Ehlers, (MI)

Charlest Boustany, (LA)

Mike Sodrel, (IN)

Richard H. Baker, (LA)

Robert W. Ney, (OH)

Steven C. LaTourette, (OH)

Howard Coble, (NC)

John J. Duncan, Jr., (TN)

Robin Hayes, (NC)

Gary Miller, (CA)

Sam Graves, (MO)

Wayne T. Gilchrest, (MD)

Timothy V. Johnson, (IL)

Dave Reichert, (WA)

Jerry Moran, (KS)

John Boozman, (AR)

Spencer Bavchus, (AL)

Thomas E. Petri, (WI)

Mark R. Kennedy, (MN)

Jon Porter, (NV)

Steve Pearce, (NM)

Bill Shuster, (PA)

Charlie Dent, (PA)

Jim Gerlach, (PA)

Todd Russell Platts (PA)

Randy Kuhl, (NY)

Sherwood L. Boehlert, (NY)

Sue W. Kelly, (NY)

Rob Simmons, (CT)

Don Young, (AK), Chair

Luis Fortuno, (PR)

Tom Osborne, (NE)

Democrats

Corrine Brown, (FL)

Eddie Bernice Johnson, (TX)

Bill Pascrell, Jr., (NJ)

Robert Menendez, (NJ)

Julia Carson, (IN)

Lincoln Davis, (TN)

Bob Filner, (CA)

Elien O. Tauscher, (CA)

Juanita Millender-McDonald, (CA)

Michael M. Honda, (CA)

Elijah E. Cummings, (MD)

Michael E. Capuano, (MA)v
Jerry F. Costello, (IL)

Gene Taylor, (MS)

Brian Baird, (WA)

Rick Larsen, (WA)

Michael H. Michaud, (ME)

Earl Blumenauer, (OR)

Peter A. DeFazio, (OR)

Leonard L. Boswell, (IA)

James L. Oberstar, (MN), Ranking Member

Jim Matheson, (UT)

Shelly Berkley, (NV)

Ben Chandler, (KY)

Tim Holden, (PA)

Anthony D. Weiner, (NY)

Jerrold Nadler, (NY)

Timothy H. Bishop, (NY)

Nick J. Rahall, II, (WV)

Eleanor Holmes Norton, (DC)

Brian Higgins, (NY)

Russ Carnahan, (MO)

Allyson Schwartz, (PA)

John Salazar, (CO)

Reauthorization Timeline

Don Young (R-AK), House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman, stated recently that he plans to have a TEA-21 reauthorization bill on the House floor by March 7. He also indicated the measure could be introduced as early as next week. Young said new projections from the Congressional Budget Office about future Highway Trust Fund receipts will enable his bill to provide slightly higher investment levels than the $279 billion six-year bill that passed the House in 2004.

(Source: ARTBA)

CBO Increases HTF Revenue Estimates

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its semi-annual baseline forecast of Highway Trust Fund revenues January 25, providing a foundation for preparation of the FY 2006 Congressional Budget Resolution. New figures show a significant increase in Highway Trust Fund (HTF) revenues from the same analysis CBO released last January, due to changes enacted in 2004 affecting the taxation of gasohol and fuel tax evasion.

According to the report, HTF revenues will ramp up from $39.0 billion to FY 2005 to $44.7 billion in FY 2009 for a total of $210 billion ($182.5 billion for the Highway Account) over five years.

The HTF revenues still fall short of the amount needed to fully fund the six-year TEA-21 reauthorization bills introduced in the House and Senate during the 108th Congress. However, there remain a number of viable alternatives to raise the revenues necessary to finance a robust TEA-21 reauthorization bill.

(Source ARTBA)

Republican Senators Promote Transportation Investment to President Bush


A letter dated January 26th to President Bush by 24 Republican Senators reiterated their commitment to significantly increase federal highway and transit investment in a TEA-21 reauthorization bill. The letter was organized by Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman James Inhofe (R-OK) and Infrastructure Subcommittee Chairman Kit Bond (R-MO).

(Source: ARTBA)


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