By Dean Franks, vice president of congressional affairs, ARTBA
Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) will replace term-limited Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) as chairman of the Environment & Public Works Committee, which oversees highway program policy decisions, in the 115th Congress starting in January. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) will be his minority-party counterpart, replacing retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)
Carper, who also serves on the Finance Committee, is currently the ranking member on the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee. He has championed increased user fees to support greater funding levels for transportation.
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) will become the ranking Democrat on the Appropriations Committee, which oversee all government spending bills. It is chaired by Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.).