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Posts Tagged ‘Reauthorization’

How Much More Before We GET REAL ABOUT FIXING THINGS?

Monday, May 18th, 2015

The POLICY OF NO is no longer acceptable. Just saying “NO,” or just accepting “NO” from others, is ducking the responsibility that all Americans must assume. Of course we want quality education and healthcare, a military able to defend us, and so much more that makes our lives possible. But we can’t allow the backbones of our nation to continue to decay. We are becoming a nation at risk!

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Some Fresh Thinking About  Funding  Infrastructure 

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 26, No. 4
With the deadline to reauthorize the federal surface transportation program just twenty days away, the transportation community has given up hope of seeing Congress extend the program for several years at this time. Instead, they are watching House leaders work on a short term extension to fund the program through the end of the year, as announced by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. This also seems to be the preferred approach of the Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee and Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

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The Changing Nature of State-Federal Relations in Transportation

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 25, No. 11
With the Republicans likely to control the Senate next year and the presidential elections casting a shadow over any new proposal to raise taxes, there will be a huge temptation for Congress to kick the can down the road once again — beyond the presidential election and into the next Congress. Remember, it took three years and eight short-term extensions to pass the last reauthorization, MAP-21!

Fortunately, many individual states are trying to compensate for the lack of congressional action on long term funding by raising additional revenue of their own. Our survey has identified more than 30 states that have launched transportation-related fiscal initiatives in the past two years.

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Open Letter from Secretary Foxx and 11 Former DOT Secretaries Urging Congress to Address Long-Term Transportation Needs

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

As Congress considers legislation to avoid a shortfall of the Highway Trust Fund, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and 11 of his predecessors offered the following open letter to Congress. In addition to Secretary Foxx, Secretaries Ray LaHood, Mary Peters, Norman Mineta, Rodney Slater, Federico Peña, Samuel Skinner, Andrew Card, James Burnley, Elizabeth Dole, William Coleman and Alan Boyd all signed the letter. Their message: Congress’ work doesn’t end with the bill under consideration. Transportation in America still needs a much larger, longer-term investment.

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Hopes for a Long-Term Transportation Bill Are Fading

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 25, No. 7
With federal transportation spending outpacing tax receipts by some $1.25 billion/month, the cash balance of the Federal Highway Trust is drawing perilously close to the point where the U.S Department of Transportation will be obliged to institute cash management strategies—such as slowing down or delaying state reimbursements — to keep the Trust Fund account solvent. Based on current spending and revenue trends, this point —a cash balance of $4 billion in the Highway Account —will be reached in late July according to the latest U.S. DOT estimate However, CBO estimates that “both the highway account and the transit account will end the end of the fiscal year with a positive balance” according to an April 14 memo from the Congressional Budget Office (Subject: CBO’s Highway Trust Fund Runs, April Baseline)

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US DOT Unveils Details of Proposed Administration Transportation Bill

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 25, No. 6
For all its stirring of discussion on a myriad of important policy issues, this proposed legislation demonstrates at a core level that the revenue necessary for any such bill is nearly impossible to add up in a way that is both fiscally plausible and politically palatable in the current moment. The “details” the Administration is providing come with an important asterisk (*), denoting the blank slate it ascribes to something called “corporate tax reform,” the very pillar on which the rest of the proposed bill is supposed to stand. As such, the funding plan is not considered to be a serious proposal, but rather a place-holder designed to prompt a “dialogue” with Congress on funding, while encouraging others to come up with something that is more politically realistic in this election year.

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Hardhats for Highways: Tell Congress How Many Jobs Are At Risk

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Hardhats for Highways is organizing a call to action for construction workers across the nation.

Starting April 1, 2014, contractors, construction business owners, labor leaders and everyone else representing constituents in the highway industry are asked to visit their Congressional delegations to deliver a hardhat. Every hat will be affixed with a sticker detailing the number of jobs at risk in each firm. If the deluge of hardhats piling up in offices throughout the nation don’t get Congress’ attention, the numbers certainly will.

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Are We Ignoring the Obvious Solution to the Transportation Funding Crisis?

Monday, July 29th, 2013

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 24, No. 10

The July 23 hearing on the Highway Trust Fund made it painfully clear that neither the government witnesses —U.S. DOT’s Undersecretary for Policy Polly Trottenberg and CBO official Kim Cawley — nor any of the participating members of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, had any clue as to how to pay for the hundreds of billions of dollars that transportation boosters say are needed to fund the next reauthorization.

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A First Tentative Step Toward Reauthorization

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Innovation NewsBriefs
Vol. 22, No. 30
Last month we noted some encouraging signs, based on informal indications, of a narrowing of the partisan divide in congressional posture toward transportation legislation (“Bridging the Partisan Divide,” Innovation NewsBriefs, October 10, 2011). The unanimous vote of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) on November 9 to approve the highway portion of the surface transportation reauthorization bill (S. 1813) has confirmed our initial impression.

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Chairman Mica Passes on the Offensive

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

In a blistering letter to Thomas Donohue, President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Rep, John Mica, Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, scolded the Chamber — and indirectly other critics of the proposed House transportation bill— for being “unable to recognize the reality that bankrupting the Highway Trust Fund and ignoring long overdue policy reforms are no longer options.”

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