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Committee’s Achievements in the 112th Congress: Major Transportation Jobs Bills & Initiatives to Cut Waste

December 21, 2012

Washington, DC – Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John L. Mica (R-FL) today released a report detailing the Committee’s successful legislative accomplishments during the last two years, including major highway and surface transportation, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Coast Guard, and pipeline safety bills.

“I became Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in January 2011 after efforts to reauthorize surface transportation and aviation programs had sputtered under Democrat leadership in Washington,” Mica said. “FAA legislation had been stalled for nearly four years and Democrats had passed 17 short-term extensions of the previous law. In addition, President Obama had torpedoed any plans for a multi-year bill for highway, bridge and transit improvements. This led to six more short-term extensions, killing major projects and long-term job creation.”

Mica continued, “America’s economy cannot improve without a safe and efficient transportation system. For the past two years, this committee focused on moving long-delayed legislation to improve our infrastructure and create jobs for Americans, cutting the red tape that holds up projects, and conducting strong oversight to help curtail Federal agency waste of taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars.

“The Committee’s successes include new FAA and surface transportation reform laws, as well as laws addressing the needs of the United States Coast Guard, strengthening pipeline safety programs, and protecting U.S. sovereignty from a European Union attempt to unlawfully tax our domestic air carriers and operators,” Mica added. “I am proud of the hard work of Committee members and the impressive record we all have achieved in helping to improve our infrastructure, reform Federal programs, and put people back to work.”

The forward to the report on the Legislative and Oversight Activities of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure for the 112th Congress can be found here. In the 112th Congress, the Committee held 13 markups, one organizational meeting, 114 hearings, 10 listening sessions, 11 roundtables, and one symposium. In addition, the Committee reported 19 bills, issued five investigative reports on the Transportation Security Administration and Amtrak, and approved the Committee Oversight Plan and the Budget Views and Estimates. A total of 55 bills under the Committee’s jurisdiction have passed the House; 30 of these bills have been signed into law by the President.

As a result of this activity and the passage of multiple major transportation measures into law, the 112th Congress has been one of the most productive for the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in decades. Major Committee legislative initiatives that became law in the last 24 months include:

The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (P.L. 112-141) was signed into law July 6, 2012. The Act, also known as MAP-21, reauthorizes Federal highway, transit and highway safety programs through the end of fiscal year 2014. It includes significant reforms to cut Federal red tape and bureaucracy, consolidate and eliminate duplicative programs or programs which are not in the Federal interest, and ensure that states have more flexibility to focus funding on their most critical needs. The Act contains no earmarks and does not add to the deficit.

The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-95) was signed into law February 14, 2012. This Act facilitates job creation by providing long-term stability for the aviation industry. It provides responsible funding for FAA safety programs, air traffic control modernization, and operations, holding spending at fiscal year 2011 levels through 2015. It provides for unprecedented reform of the National Mediation Board; limits efforts to over-regulate the aviation industry; and reforms the Essential Air Service program by eliminating the most egregious subsidies and prohibiting new entrants to the program.

The Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011 (P.L. 112-90) reauthorized Federal pipeline safety programs through FY 2015. It provides for enhanced safety and reliability in pipeline transportation and ensures regulatory certainty, which will help create a positive environment for job development. The legislation was enacted into law on January 3, 2012.

The Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2012 (H.R. 2838), signed into law on December 20, 2012, institutes common sense reforms and upholds the United States Coast Guard’s ability to carry out its important and diverse missions. This two-year authorization includes provisions that will give service members and dependents of the Coast Guard – the Nation’s first line of defense for maritime safety and security – greater parity with their counterparts in the other armed services. The measure reforms and improves Coast Guard administration and eliminates obsolete authorities, and encourages job growth in the maritime sector by reducing regulatory burdens on small businesses, fishermen and port workers.

The European Union Emissions Trading Scheme Prohibition Act of 2011 (P.L 112-200) protects the sovereignty of the United States, without infringing upon other nations’ right to impose taxes within their own borders. Signed by the President on November 27, 2012, the law prohibits the United States’ participation in a unilaterally imposed European Union scheme to tax emissions of American aircraft operators and air carriers, as well as those of other nations, outside of EU airspace.

These laws and other Committee measures held the line on Federal spending and contain provisions that will reduce waste and prevent government-imposed burdens and red tape on American businesses. Along with thorough oversight activities to uncover waste in the General Services Administration’s management of Federal property, improve intercity passenger rail service under Amtrak, and ensure a more reasoned regulatory approach by the Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies, these legislative initiatives will help create jobs, save money for the taxpayers, and shrink the size of the Federal Government, all while improving the safety, security, and efficiency of the country’s transportation systems and infrastructure in the coming years.

Click here to access the complete report.

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