Yesterday morning House Transportation & Infrastructure Chairman John Mica unveiled his proposal [PDF, 3.6mb] for t-bill authorization, which amounts to a 33-35% cut to federal transportation spending. Below is a quick thumbnail sketch of his proposal, responses/reactions from other lawmakers & advocacy groups, and three things YOU can do to help stop this train wreck…
Summary notes from Mica’s presentation yesterday:
- Size of Bill – $230B over 6 years, a 33-35% cut in federal funding for transportation.
- Highway vs. Transit – 80/20 split will stay about the same.
- Bike/Ped Funding – Eliminates 10% set aside for enhancements, feds no longer going to require state DOTs to spend certain amount on bike/ped projects.
- Performance Measures – Mica says states will be held accountable to some performance measures but did not say specifically what those measures will be.
- Leveraging Private Dollars – Dedicates $6B to TIFIA program, increase % of federal funding that a state can dedicate to a State Infrastructure Bank from 10 to 15%, streamlining Rail Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF).
- New Starts – Streamline new starts process, extra credit for projects that partner with the private sector.
Responses & Reactions:
- Senator Schumer: “This is a job-killing, future-suffocating, pessimistic vision of America as a ‘can’t do’ nation that would be a body blow to our struggling economy.” (via Twitter).
- AFLCIO and US Chamber agree: not enough spending in House T-bill (The Hill).
- Senate Banking Committee: members oppose House GOP cuts to t-bill that could cost more than 140,000 jobs (Senate Banking).
- House T&I Dems: House GOP proposal would undermine our long term economic competitiveness and recovery (Senate BankingStreetsblog).
- AASHTO, APTA, NRDC, T4, Building America’s Future, and other statements collected here (Transportation for America).
- See how this proposal impacts federal funding to NY (Tri-State Transportation Campaign).
Next Steps for T-Bill:
- Mica is still working on full bill language. T-bill currently not on floor calendar.
- Senate EPW has yet to release full bill for committee mark-up.
What YOU Can Do:
- Write to both Senators Schumer and Gillibrand – thank them for their leadership in fighting against funding cuts to transportation and encourage them to make transportation funding (especially for transit, bike/ped and fix it first) a priority!
- Email or contact Senator Mica and let him know how you feel about his proposed 35% cut to transportation and the 140,000 jobs that could be lost because of it.
- Share this article with your friends.
Thanks to Ya-Ting Lui, at Tri-State Transportation Campaign for this story.