Highlights from the House Floor
“People said the whole paperwork process, red tape of Federal Government involved in transportation projects has to be changed. And we change it here for the first time historically, dramatically reducing the time that it takes to permit and go forward with a project, dramatically reducing the cost, dramatically reducing the mandates, increasing the flexibility for local government. So we have a streamlining process, unprecedented.”
June 29, 2012
John Mica, Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Conference Report on H.R. 4348, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act
“States will have over 2 years of funding certainty with no tax increases. By providing long-term funding stability to States, major projects will be able to move forward to help create jobs and make much-needed repairs to our Nation's critical transportation infrastructure. These are jobs, Mr. Speaker, that will not be outsourced to China or elsewhere.”
June 29, 2012
John Duncan Jr, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, Conference Report on H.R. 4348, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act
“This bill streamlines the environmental review process, consolidates and eliminates duplicative programs, and provides more flexibility to the States.”
June 29, 2012
Larry Bucshon (R-IN), Conference Report on H.R. 4348, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act
"If we're going to do the best interest of American taxpayers, we've got to address waste in government overall, across the entire Nation, across every agency."...."Our Federal Government has a horrible track record of selling properties in the last 25 years. We can do much better, and the American taxpayers demand that we do much better.
February 7, 2012
Chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic Development, Rep. Jeff Denham
(R-CA) speaking on H.R. 1734, The Civilian Property Realignment Act
"This legislation deals with our entire American aviation industry. It sets all of the policy, all of the formulas. All of the major projects are outlined. This is the blueprint for the United States of America and, actually, for anywhere between 8 and 11 percent of our entire economic activity."
-February 3, 2012
Chairman of Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Rep. John Mica (R-FL) speaking on the Conference Report on H.R. 658, FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2012.
"Along with advancements in the NextGen program, this legislation enacts policies that will foster sustained, long-term job creation in our private sector, reaffirming the United States' leadership role in aerospace innovation and manufacturing."
-February 3, 2012
Chairman of Subcommittee on Aviation, Rep. Thomas Petri (R-WI) speaking on the Conference Report on H.R. 658, FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2012.
"This is a very important piece of legislation for the American people as far as our energy resources and transporting them safely across the land; as far as an industry that is so important to creating jobs and opportunity and keeping the cost of energy down for consumers and people who are hit by difficult times."
-December 13, 2011
Rep. John Mica during floor consideration of H.R. 2845, the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011. The legislation was introduced in the House by Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) and Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John L. Mica (R-FL). The bill is the result of the bipartisan, bicameral work of the House and Senate committees of jurisdiction.
“This important legislation improves safety, enhances reliability, and provides the regulatory certainty necessary to create jobs. I am very proud of the work that has gone into this bill, both across the aisle and between the committees. This legislation represents a bipartisan and bicameral agreement reached by the House Transportation Committee, the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. I’m also proud this legislation has been supported by both the pipeline industry and key safety advocates. The United States has the largest network of energy pipelines in the world, and pipelines are the energy lifelines that power nearly all of our daily activities.”
-December 13, 2011
Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA) during floor consideration of H.R. 2845.
"This would impose a European tax over the skies of the United States -- I have never heard of anything like that before. And the meter starts running the minute the plane departs from any point in the United States until it reaches Europe, and the same thing when it departs Europe back to the United States."
-October 25, 2011
Rep. John Mica during floor debate on H.R. 2594, the "European Union Emissions Trading Scheme Prohibition Act of 2011." The House overwhelmingly voted against U.S. participation in the European Union's costly emissions trading scheme (ETS) that would impose new emissions taxes on U.S. and other nations' air carriers flying into and out of the EU.
"The European Union's unilateral application of the scheme onto U.S.-flagged operators without the consent of the United States government raises significant legal concerns under international law, including violations of the Chicago Convention in the U.S.-EU transportation agreement. There are also concerns that the emissions trading scheme is nothing more than a revenue raiser for EU-member states, since there is no requirement that EU-member states must use the funds for anything related to the reduction of carbon dioxide by the civil aviation sector."
-October 25, 2011
Rep. Tom Petri during floor debate on H.R. 2594.
"While the legislation before us is important and signifies a bipartisan, bicameral agreement to move forward, it must not be just a temporary band-aid for our important aviation, highway, rail and safety programs and for future job creation for our nation. To build our nation’s infrastructure and really put people to work, we need long term reauthorizations for these programs. Unfortunately, this bill is the 22nd FAA extention and the 8th surface transportation extention...This action today represents a last chance to roll up our sleeves and get transportation projects moving forward in America again."
-September 13, 2011
Rep. John Mica during House floor consideration of H.R. 2887, The Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2011, Part II. H.R. 2887 authorizes FAA programs through January 30, 2012 at current funding levels and authorizes federal highway, transit, and highway safety programs through March 31, 2011 at current funding levels.
"House and Senate negotiators have worked for the last five months to resolve the issues between the House and the Senate on the long-term FAA reauthorization bill. We are seeking this extension to allow time for us to complete negotiations on the final multi-year bill. We need to get a long-term FAA bill done so that the agency and airports can more efficiently plan and carry out programs and projects… The extension would provide resources for the safe operation of our national airspace system and for the continued certification services of the Federal Aviation Administration. The bill also authorizes funding for the Airport Improvement Program, which, together with surface transportation programs extended in the bill, authorizes critical funding for important infrastructure construction projects that will help preserve and create much needed jobs."
-September 13, 2011
Rep. Tom Petri, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Aviation, during House floor consideration of H.R. 2887, The Surface and Air Transportation Programs Extension Act of 2011, Part II.
"During this six month surface transportation extension, Congress will work hard to pass the Committee’s surface transportation reauthorization bill. The outline of the Committee’s proposal was unveiled in June and makes much needed reforms to our federal highway, transit, and highway safety programs. The Committee’s proposal will streamline the project delivery process, consolidate existing programs, and better leverage existing revenues in the highway trust fund… If Congress moves this landmark piece of legislation before the spring, as we all hope, it will be considered the signature jobs bill that Americans have been waiting for this Congress to pass. It will create millions of jobs for hard-working Americans right here in the United States, not in China, India, or other countries, and will leave a lasting legacy of tangible improvements to our transportation infrastructure in this country."
-September 13, 2011
Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr., Chairman of the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, during House floor consideration of H.R. 2887 The Surface and Air Transportation Programs Extension Act of 2011, Part II.
"The provision I put in says that no state or no airport operation that has service where the subsidy exceeds $1,000 a ticket can receive that subsidy...one of these subsidies is $3,719 per passenger. That's obscene when our country is on the verge of debt crises and disaster."
-July 20, 2011
Rep. John Mica during House floor consideration of H.R. 2553, The Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2011, Part IV. This extension maintains current funding levels for the FAA, its employees, and airports across the country through September 16, 2011. It also includes a common sense Essential Air Service (EAS) reform provision, which the Senate passed unanimously during Floor consideration earlier this year. It would limit EAS eligibility to communities that are located 90 or more miles from a large or medium hub airport. It also includes a waiver should the Secretary of Transportation determine that geographic characteristics result in undue difficulty accessing the nearest medium or large hub.
"These reforms could result in as much as $20 million in savings for the American taxpayer...[this provision] provides that only airports that are 90 miles or more away from a large or medium hub airport would be eligible to participate in the Essential Air Service. As Congress tries to find a way forward to address deficit and long-term debt issues, if we can't put an end to these extravagant subsidies, then we will never be able to rein in spending where really hard decisions are necessary."
-July 20, 2011
Rep. Tom Petri during House floor consideration of H.R. 2553, The Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2011, Part IV.
"H.R. 2018 has broad support from both Republicans and Democrats. It is a measure to restore some balance between the EPA, our Federal regulatory body that oversees the Clean Water Act, and our States, which are responsible for implementation of some of the important work that ensures that we have clean water."
-July 13, 2011
U.S. Rep. John L. Mica during House floor consideration of H.R. 2018, the Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011. This legislation reverses the erosion of states’ authority under a long-established partnership with the federal government to regulate the nation’s water quality.
"We are currently working with the Senate to finish negotiations and reconcile the differences between the Senate and the House versions. I know I for one am committed to passing a long-term reauthorization that will allow the FAA to continue making progress in modernizing our system utilizing new technologies and making other improvements."
-May 23, 2011
Rep. Tom Petri during House floor consideration of H.R. 1893, the Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2011, Part II. This legislation is a clean, short-term extension of the FAA funding and programs through June 30, 2011, ensuring that the FAA is able to continue operating until negotiations for a long-term FAA reauthorization are complete.
"We'd reroute the shipment of this stuff through other countries to avoid paying and going through the onerous regulations that our government would create. Countless consumers would be forced to pay more because of silly regulations that don't make any sense. A severe supply chain issue and limitations on supply would be imposed. We would have delays in shipping lifesaving equipment.
...This is a good provision. It needs to be in the bill. We've got to keep some of the regulation, those that put us out of business, put jobs overseas and put people at risk, out of our way."
-March 31, 2011
U.S. Rep. John Mica (R-FL) during House debate on an amendment to H.R. 658, which would remove a provision and restrict the carriage of primary, non-rechargable Lithium-metal batteries on cargo aircraft until safe packaging materials become available and the cargo aircraft has a fire suppression system.
…Given current economic times, there is a need to put our limited resources where they are most needed and use them efficiently. Although we cannot do all that we may have wanted to, when facing budget cuts, difficult decisions have to be made. We have worked to preserve the ability of the FAA to conduct its safety functions--its most important mission and our number one priority.
-March 31, 2011
U.S. Rep. Tom Petri (R-WI) during House consideration of H.R. 658, FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2011.
"This is a job creation bill."
-March 31, 2011
U.S. Rep. John Mica during House consideration of H.R. 658, FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2011.
"...the Railway Labor Act was enacted by a very heavily Democratic Congress in the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration.
...I think if we want to change it, if our sense of what's fair has changed over the last 75 years--and it has in other areas--it should be done by an act of Congress...It clearly upsets the balance that was struck and has served us well for several generations."
-March 31, 2011
U.S. Rep. Tom Petri (R-WI) during House debate on an amendment to H.R. 658, which would repeal a National Mediation Board (NMB) rule, providing for union representation elections among airline and railroad workers.
"We've had 75 years of rule and law in which to organize. In the transportation sector, you had to have a majority of all of the individuals that worked there, all the people that would be potential members, and a majority of those folks would have to vote in the union, and I have no problem with union representation. The President packed the board of the National Mediation Board, and on a 2-1 vote, they changed 75 years of ruling."
-March 31, 2011
U.S. Rep. John Mica (R-FL) during House debate of an amendment to H.R. 658, which would repeal a National Mediation Board (NMB) rule, providing for union representation elections among airline and railroad workers.
"I recently introduced H.R. 872 to clarify congressional intent regarding how the use of pesticides in or near navigable waters should be regulated. The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, also known as FIFRA, has long been the Federal regulatory statute that governs the sale and use of pesticides in the United States. However, more recently, as a result of a number of lawsuits, the Clean Water Act has been added as a new and redundant layer of Federal regulation over the use of pesticides. As a result, an additional set of permits will be required for the use of pesticides.
H.R. 872 is aimed at reversing a decision of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in National Cotton Council vs. EPA. In this ruling, the Sixth Circuit substituted judge-made policy choices for reasonable agency interpretations of the law. In the process, the court undermined the traditional understanding of how the Clean Water Act interacts with other environmental statutes, and it judicially expanded the scope of Clean Water Act regulation further into areas and activities not originally envisioned or intended by Congress."
-March 30, 2011
U.S. Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH) during House consideration of H.R. 872, Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011.
"...it is imperative that we act in a timely manner on H.R. 872 to ensure that our small businesses, farmers, communities, counties, and State and Federal agencies will not be burdened with a costly, duplicative permit requirement that offers no environmental or health benefits. It is important to note that pesticides play an important role in protecting our Nation's food supply, public health, natural resources, infrastructure, and green spaces. They are used not only to protect crops from destructive pests, but also to manage mosquitoes and other disease-carrying pests, invasive weeds, and animals that can choke our waterways, impede our power generation, and damage our forests and recreational areas."
-March 30, 2011
U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH) during House consideration of H.R. 872, Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011.
"... with the FAA's authorities set to expire at the end of the calendar year, we again find it necessary to consider another extension. Like the 16 earlier extensions over the past 3 years, the bill before us would provide a short-term extension of the taxes, programs, and funding of the FAA, this time through the end of March 2011.
"It is unfortunate that this Congress has not been able to reach final agreement on a comprehensive FAA reauthorization bill. We recognize the importance of a multiyear authorization, and I look forward to working with Mr. Costello and my other colleagues in the next Congress to that end."
- December 2, 2010
U.S. Rep. Tom Petri (R-WI) during House consideration of another extension of the taxes, programs, and funding of the FAA.
"... while this legislation is needed - and there is no doubt that it is needed - my colleague from Texas (Mr. Olson) has offered a much better piece of legislation. Mr. Olson's legislation, H.R. 4162, will authorize a permanent extension of the program, not a 5-year temporary patch or a temporary extension offered by this bill.
"Congress has been forced to temporarily extend this program six times since it was authorized in the Water Resources Development Act of 2000. Yet the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure has heard from Members on both sides of the aisle - this is not a partisan issue - supporting a permanent extension of the section 214 program.
"The Corps of Engineers has now the adequate experience in running the program, and recent Government Accountability Office observations concur with this assessment. Yet here we are again on the House floor, moving a temporary extension of an excellent, proven, tested program."
- December 1, 2010
U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), during consideration of a temporary extension of Army Corps of Engineers authority to accept and expend funds provided by non-Federal public entities to hire additional personnel to help process regulatory permits. Rep. Olson of Texas introduced a similar bill to permanently authorize this cost-cutting authority, which helps address the red tape involved in moving projects forward.
"The men and women of the Coast Guard are some of the most under-recognized and under-appreciated patriots that we have in our country.
"This bill is very, very much past due, and I am very pleased that we are going to be able to move forward."
- September 28, 2010
U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) during debate on the Coast Guard Authorization Act.
"I remain very disappointed that a few issues in the reauthorization package are holding up final agreement on a comprehensive FAA reauthorization bill."
- September 23, 2010
U.S. Rep. Tom Petri (R-WI) during House consideration of the 15th extension over the past three years of the taxes, programs, and funding of the FAA.
"... we don't need to tell the American people with propaganda signs that we're spending their tax dollars wisely. More specifically, we don't need to put up road signs all over the country when we're doing paving projects.... We've found signs that cost over $10,000 apiece simply to say this is your tax dollars at work."
- July 14, 2010
U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) during debate on a resolution he sponsored to eliminate millions of dollars in wasteful stimulus spending on road signs telling the American people that their stimulus tax dollars are being spent.
"A number of controversial issues have stalled progress on a final agreement. I am disappointed myself that several issues unrelated to the important safety and modernization provisions in the reauthorization package are holding up final agreement on this legislation."
- June 29, 2010
U.S. Rep. Tom Petri (R-WI) during debate on the 14th short-term extension of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Congress' failure to reach agreement on a long-term bill
"Now let me make this very clear: the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund is not going to be a piggy bank for BP or for other responsible parties. This money must, should, and will be repaid. "
- June 10, 2010
U.S. Rep. John L. Mica (R-FL), during debate on oil spill legislation
"Move forward. People are crying out for jobs in this country, and one of the best employers that we have in this Nation is the aviation industry.... When you expand aviation, you enter global markets with such ease today, but we are leaving that behind. So I am, indeed, deeply saddened that we are not at a point where we are passing this.
"Now, I ask Members to support this extension, the 13th extension. This is a very embarrassing moment for the Congress, and I'm sad that our work is not done."
- April 28, 2010
U.S. Rep. John L. Mica (R-FL), during debate on the growing need to pass a long-term authorization of Federal Aviation Administration programs. The House instead approved another short-term extension of programs.
"I think it is incredible that we are on the 12th extension with the passage of this [bill]..."
- March 17, 2010
U.S. Rep. John L. Mica (R-FL), during debate on another short-term extension of the Federal Aviation Administration programs. The last long-term FAA authorization was approved by Congress in 2003 -- a bill written by Rep. Mica when he was Chairman of the Subcommittee on Aviation
"That means that we can't get people working beyond the end of the year. That means that we can't make commitments for improving our Nation's infrastructure..."
- March 17, 2010
U.S. Rep. John L. Mica (R-FL), during debate on legislation to extend surface transportation programs only through the end of 2010, rather than a long-term reauthorization. States depend upon multi-year authorizations of these programs for long-term infrastructure project planning and job creation.