Yesterday’s elections shifted the balance of power in the Senate, expanded Republican control of the House and brought about several changes on key transportation-related committees. As of this hour, Republicans have gained 13 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and at least seven seats in the Senate previously held by Democrats.
While there will be a no shortage of spin from both sides about what the 2014 elections mean for each party and their prospects in the 2016 presidential election, ARTBA is focused on what the makeup of the next Congress means for efforts to advance transportation legislation over the next two years. Of all the major issues before Congress, few can rival the broad bipartisan support that transportation investment and policy reforms have routinely received. Another key advantage for the federal transportation programs is that unlike many other areas, the looming Highway Trust Fund revenue shortfall and expiration of the federal highway, transit and aviation programs in 2015 will require congressional action of some form. Despite all the spin about the “game changing” 2014 elections, we are looking at another busy year on the transportation front.