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Rep. John Mica says the transportation sector will 'do more with less.' [PHOTO: Orlando Sentinel]
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:

'A New Direction'; John Mica's Transportation Reauthorization Proposal is certainly that.

  • 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 Twitterexternal link).
  • AFLCIO and US Chamber agree: not enough spending in House T-bill (The Hillexternal link).
  • Senate Banking Committee: members oppose House GOP cuts to t-bill that could cost more than 140,000 jobs (Senate Bankingexternal link).
  • House T&I Dems: House GOP proposal would undermine our long term economic competitiveness and recovery (Senate Bankingexternal linkStreetsblog).
  • AASHTO, APTA, NRDC, T4, Building America’s Future, and other statements collected here (Transportation for Americaexternal link).
  • See how this proposal impacts federal funding to NY (Tri-State Transportation Campaignexternal link).

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:

  1. Write to both Senators Schumerexternal link and Gillibrandexternal link – 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!
  2. Emailexternal link or contactexternal link 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.
  3. Shareexternal link this article with your friends.

Thanks to Ya-Ting Lui, at Tri-State Transportation Campaignexternal link for this story.

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