By David Bauer, senior vice president of government relations, ARTBA
The House Transportation & Infrastructure (T&I) Committee Oct. 22 overwhelmingly passed the “Surface Transportation Reauthorization Reform Act (STRRA) of 2015,” H.R. 3736. The measure would authorize $330 billion in highway and public transportation investments through FY 2021.
A comprehensive summary of the measure is available here.
T&I Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) and Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) developed STRRA and, given this bipartisan foundation, the measure’s approval was never in doubt. Still, committee members filed more than 160 amendments to the measure and spent several hours debating proposed changes to the legislation.
ARTBA sent a detailed letter to all T&I Committee members providing our analysis and position on the amendments that would directly impact the transportation construction industry and its ability to deliver needed highway and public transportation improvements.
While STRRA does not contain provisions generating the new Highway Trust Fund revenues necessary to fulfill its investment commitments, the full House of Representatives is expected to try to advance the legislation in the coming weeks. As such, details about how the chamber plans to fund its reauthorization proposal should become public shortly. The current short-term extension of the highway and transit programs expires Oct. 29.
ARTBA urged all T&I Committee members to support STRRA as a critical step toward completing a multi-year surface transportation reauthorization bill before the end of 2015. We will keep you apprised as the House process continues to move forward.