The Highways and Transit Subcommittee has jurisdiction over our nation’s highway, transit, and highway safety programs, as well as the policy that governs how highway and transit projects are planned, approved, and constructed.
Transportation Reform Bill: On June 29, 2012, Congress approved a 2¼-year transportation bill to ensure states can carry out important infrastructure projects and ensure long-term jobs in the hard-hit construction industry. The bill was signed into law on July 6, 2012.
As the lead sponsor in the House of Representative, Committee Chairman John L. Mica, and Highways and Transit Subcommittee Chairman Duncan and other House Republicans, worked to include in this bill the most comprehensive transportation program reforms since the establishment of the Interstate System under President Eisenhower.
This measure includes historic reforms to cut red tape, streamline the bureaucratic project approval process, consolidate or eliminate nearly 2/3 of federal programs, and ensure that states have more flexibility to direct limited resources to high-priority needs.
Program reforms included in the bill will allow projects to move forward more efficiently and more according to local priorities – not according to federal mandates. Construction costs escalate with time, and this bill will also lower project costs by avoiding the cost increases brought about by lengthy delays.
The previous transportation law contained over 6,300 earmarks, but the new transportation measure contains no earmarks.
Furthermore, Mica, Duncan and House conferees rejected problematic provisions that had been proposed by the Senate. Senate provisions that were eliminated by House Members during negotiations include: penalties for use of public-private partnerships, re-regulation of the railroad industry, and establishment of dozens of new federal programs.
In addition, the Congressional Budget Office scored the bill with $16.3 billion in savings over the next decade.
Passage of this key legislation was delayed nearly three years, during which time Democrats who controlled both Houses of Congress and the White House failed to pass a long-term bill to set the nation’s transportation policy. Instead, Democrats only passed six short-term, costly extensions.(more information)
Public Transit Safety: Public transportation is the safest form of passenger transportation, yet the Obama Administration has proposed creating a new federal bureaucracy to oversee transit safety. We can provide additional tools and resources to states and local governments to continue to improve oversight of their local transit systems without creating a new federal agency and increasing the size of government. (more information)
Subcommittee on Highways and Transit
B-376 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515