Federal comprehensive transportation legislation still on back-burner
As the regional lead for Transportation for America (T4A), we want to make sure that we keep you all up-to-date on the current situation of national legislation efforts around transportation policy.
As you may know, every six years, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure must pass a transportation bill laying the groundwork for transportation spending for the following six years. Last year, Committee Chair Oberstar, advocated for The Surface Transportation Authorization Act: “A Blueprint for Investment and Reform,” a bill which would invest $500 billion in road and rail. For more on the specifics of the bill check out the executive summary.
Despite Oberstar’s efforts, the bill was tabled as a result of other national efforts: health care reform, anti-tax sentiments, and more recently the oil spill in the Gulf. Whatever the reason, efforts to create a comprehensive transportation bill that will promote investment in transportation projects which are both economically and environmentally sustainable, have been pushed to the back-burner. A Politico article from May better outlines the details of the delay and the tension between Oberstar and the administration.
The most recent development, in an otherwise slow moving process, is the proposal of the Emergency Transit Funding bill, as discussed on T4A’s blog. This bill represents one of the piecemeal efforts attempting to keep transportation legislation on the mind of legislators. The bill would authorize $2 Billion intended to close the funding gap in areas dealing with transit crises (T4A transit crisis map).
While the current situation of the comprehensive transportation bill is rather stagnant, it is never a bad time to write to your legislators to remind them of the importance of passing a comprehensive transportation bill which addresses the breadth of transportation needs that our country faces– including both transit and roads. Here is a list of our legislators contact information (Contact Info LV Legislators).
Also check out T4A’s website to view The Route to Reform: Blueprint for a 21st Century Federal Transportation Program, T4A’s recommended transportation reforms.
We will continue to update you on the happenings in Washington around transportation reform. If you hear anything comment below and we’ll do our best to follow-up. Thanks!