As the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee considers partisan highway legislation, stakeholders look to the Senate’s bipartisan bill as a model.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A broad group of stakeholders are voicing support for bipartisan highway infrastructure legislation. As the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee considers partisan highway legislation, stakeholders are looking to the Senate’s bipartisan bill, America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA), as a model.
ATIA was introduced by Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY), Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-DE), and Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee Chair and Ranking Member Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Ben Cardin (D-MD). ATIA passed the EPW committee unanimously on July 30, 2019. The bill authorizes $287 billion over five years, including $259 billion for formula programs to maintain and repair America’s roads and bridges. The total represents an increase of over 27 percent from FAST Act levels. The legislation includes provisions to improve road safety, streamline project delivery, protect the environment and grow the economy. Highway infrastructure authorizations expire on September 30, 2020.
What They Are Saying About Bipartisan Highway Infrastructure Legislation:
EPW Committee Chairman John Barrasso:
“In the Senate, Republicans and Democrats worked together to write a bipartisan highway infrastructure bill that would help the whole country. Instead of following the Senate’s lead, House Democrats cut Republicans out of the process and wrote a partisan bill. The House Democrats’ bill limits the flexibility states have to get priority projects done – while creating new paperwork burdens. It also radically increases funding for transit, at a time when fewer Americans will use these systems because of COVID. Leaders in the House should look to America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act as a bipartisan model. Infrastructure legislation is critical to our economic recovery and it must help the entire country, not just select urban centers. The only way for that to happen is bipartisanship.”
American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) President and CEO Dave Bauer:
“Former U.S. Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta often said ‘there are no Democratic or Republican highways.’ Last summer’s unanimous approval by the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee of the largest highway program reauthorization in decades reminds us that sentiment is alive and well on Capitol Hill today. Consensus-building has been at the core of federal transportation policy since the creation of the Interstate Highway System and is certainly a requirement today. The clock is ticking and ARTBA will continue to work with both parties to deliver the highway/transit bill the American people deserve and the U.S. economy needs.”
“ATIA represents a very strong investment and policy package for state DOTs…We commend the (EPW) Committee’s tireless leadership on timely reauthorization of surface transportation legislation and we look forward to further strengthening the federal government’s highly successful partnership with state DOTs in the months and years ahead to lead our nation’s economic recovery and growth.”
“It is disappointing that this legislation was not developed in a bipartisan manner. Transportation has traditionally been a bipartisan issue and both sides of the aisle will have to work together to get a surface transportation bill over the finish line. We remain encouraged that infrastructure appears to be a priority in both the House and the Senate and we look forward to working with Congressional leaders to enact legislation before the expiration of the FAST Act that will fully fund the highway trust fund and ensure the nation’s transportation system remains the backbone to economic vitality and overall quality of life.”
“With historic unemployment, tremendous unmet infrastructure needs, and less than four months before the expiration of surface transportation programs, this is no time for another partisan approach to infrastructure. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee produced a bipartisan bill that drew unanimous support. We stand ready to work with Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate to move a bipartisan bill the president can sign into law that would revive our nation’s infrastructure.”
“Senators Barrasso and Carper have crafted a bipartisan proposal to improve the nation’s aging and over-burdened highway network that is a critical first-step and should prompt action in the Senate and House of Representatives. It is significant that the proposed measure includes a substantial, and much-needed, boost in funding to repair clogged highways and aging bridges. But the measure also includes many thoughtful improvements to surface transportation policy that evolve a 20th century program into something more appropriate for today’s transportation needs… This measure clearly deserves timely consideration within the Senate. Moreover, it should provoke similar action out of the House. That is why this association supports the measure and will urge both houses of Congress to take advantage of its introduction to make meaningful progress on passing a bipartisan, bi-cameral highway and transit bill as soon as possible.”