The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will vote on its five-year surface transportation bill in the next few weeks, with an eye toward a floor vote in late June or July.
In a “Dear Colleague Letter” laying out the House schedule for the next two months, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said that “an infrastructure package that includes reauthorization of expiring surface transportation provisions” was among the handful of “must-pass” bills that the House aims to consider on the floor “in late June and going through July.”
The Transportation Committee recently held its first official virtual subcommittee hearing, which is a prerequisite for holding a virtual markup, according to new House rules on remote congressional work.
In January, the Chairs of three U.S. House Committees officially unveiled a proposal for a $760 billion, five-year infrastructure plan that includes $319 billion for “transformative highway investments.
That legislative framework put forth by Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ), and Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal (D-MA) called for revamping existing highway formula programs to “prioritize investments” and “improve program implementation” to maintain and improve existing infrastructure and bring it into a state of good repair.
Among its broad goals, the proposal, which was not issued as legislative language, also called for reducing the carbon footprint from the transportation sector and dramatically increasing the availability of electric vehicle charging stations and other alternative fueling options for electric and zero-emissions vehicles.
It did not call for lifting federal prohibitions on tolling existing interstates or commercializing rest areas to fund infrastructure projects. The framework instead called for instituting tighter standards around tolling and congestion pricing to “tackle congestion equitably.”
The House proposal also called for opportunities and funding for states, MPOs, and local governments to build fueling infrastructure for zero pollution hydrogen and electric vehicles along designated highway corridors.
In the Senate, the Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) advanced its version of a highway bill in July 2019, “America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2019.” The Senate Finance Committee, which is responsible for finding a way to pay for that measure, still needs to add its Title before the bill can go before the full Senate. Additional committees also will need to add sections on transit and safety, among others.
Current surface transportation law is set to expire in September 2020.
The Senate EPW Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on June 4 titled, “Infrastructure the Road to Recovery.” The hearing can be viewed on June 4 beginning at 10 a.m. HERE.
Subscribe to Updates
NATSO provides a breadth of information created to strengthen travel plazas’ ability to meet the needs of the travelling public in an age of disruption. This includes knowledge filled blog posts, articles and publications. If you would like to receive a digest of blog post and articles directly in your inbox, please provide your name, email and the frequency of the updates you want to receive the email digest.