EPW COMMITTEE APPROVES HIGHWAY FUNDING BILL
ìBipartisan bill will create jobs and address the nationís highway needsî

EPW COMMITTEE APPROVES HIGHWAY FUNDING BILL
ìBipartisan bill will create jobs and address the nationís highway needsî

Washington, D.C.-The Committee on Environment and Public Works approved today, by a bipartisan vote of 17 to 2, the reauthorization (S. 1072) of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21). The bill, called the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act of 2003 (SAFETEA), will provide $255 billion to address the nation’s surface transportation needs over the next 6 years.

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the EPW Committee; Sen. James Jeffords (I-Vt.), the committee’s ranking member; Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.), chairman of the subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure; and Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), ranking member on the subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure, released the following statements today:

Sen. Inhofe:

“After a long, bipartisan, collaborative process, the committee has crafted a very strong bill, one that will create jobs, promote economic growth, and address the nation’s surface transportation needs. It is my hope that as Congress returns next year, the Senate will consider this legislation as its first order of business, enabling us to conference with the House and send the bill to the President’s desk as quickly as possible.

“This bill is especially important for my home state of Oklahoma. One of my top priorities in this process was increasing the rate of return for donor states such as Oklahoma, which put more money into the highway trust fund than they receive back for state highway needs. This bill guarantees all donor states a rate of return of at least 95 percent.”

Sen. Jeffords: “This compromise legislation is based on more than two years of work, including 13 hearings and testimony from more than 100 witnesses. This bill is a balanced and comprehensive package that will benefit the entire nation. It makes significant improvements to our nation’s highways and byways, from its bridges to its bike paths. This legislation will provide jobs for millions of Americans and offers a sound roadmap for a safer and more efficient transportation system for all 50 states.” Sen. Bond:

“Today's markup is a result of a lot of hard work and compromise. Completion of a new forward-looking highway bill is vital for safety and an integral part of the agenda to add jobs and efficiency to our economy. This bill helps fortify the economic recovery that shows signs of being underway. My state of Missouri and the nation at large has dramatic transportation needs that must be met requiring additional resources, which this bill provides.

The process of coming to terms on new legislation is always difficult. This year was no different, but under the leadership of Chairman Inhofe, I am delighted that the ultimate compromise is one that was be broadly supported on a bipartisan basis and gives a critical shot in the arm to our economy. My gratitude and congratulations are extended to the Chairman, Senator Jeffords and Reid, and all the members of the Committee who worked so hard to get us this far.”

Sen. Reid:

“We have come a long way since we met in September to discuss a short-term extension of the nation’s surface transportation laws. Today we take an important step toward reauthorization of the program. I am hopeful that the work we do today will enable us to realize our shared goal of a fully funded reauthorization bill sometime early next year.

“During a year’s worth of reauthorization hearings, we learned that the basic structure works. This package refines the current program in an effort to enhance the nation’s surface transportation system.

“I am particularly pleased that this package moves the nation’s surface transportation program forward without jeopardizing our natural environment.

“Today’s markup is a significant step in the long process of surface transportation reauthorization. The journey is far from over and many obstacles ahead. I look forward to working with my colleagues to produce a balanced surface transportation program for the 21st Century.”

 

S.1072, TEA-21 Reauthorization Amendments (Final passage: 17 ayes, 2 nays - Graham and Wyden against)

•Managers' amendment (WEI03.280) -- UC agreement

•Managers' technical amendment (DEC03.F17) -- UC agreement

•Warner #1, to modify the set-aside percentage for Metropolitan Planning Organizations (12 yeas, 7 nays)

•Warner #2, to insert a provision establishing a highway stormwater discharge mitigation program (10 yeas, 9 nays)

•Warner #7,to strike the exceptions to eligible projects that can be funded under this new program so that this program will be eligible for all projects that are also eligible under section 133, the Surface Transportation Program (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Warner #9, to limit this authority to one year, giving a total of three years for states to prepare a highway safety plan(ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Warner #11, to strike two of the eligible categories of a foreign country and “any other person” (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Warner #12, to provide that the Secretary is to conduct the study of the Future of the Federal-aid system, but he is not required to establish a new office to do it(ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Voinovich #2 (FLO03.B91), to modify responsibilities of the State regarding development of projects (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Voinovich #11 (DEC03.D50)to ensure protection of streams and wetlands(ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Crapo #1 , Rail crossings (Agreed to by voice vote)

•Crapo #2 (WEI03.322) to include national and interregional needs in the national surface transportation system study(ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Crapo #3 (WEI03.322) to allow a state to choose among issues to address with publicly-owned intermodal freight transportation projects (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Crapo #9 (WEI03.450) to amend a provision relating to collaborative development of flexible process and timeline (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Crapo #10 (WEI03.456) to amend a provision relating to collaborative development of project alternatives (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Crapo #11 (WEI03.453) to amend a provision relating to collaborative development of the project purpose and need statement (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Crapo #15 as modified to ensure a minimum level of attention to the specific problems of improperly place culverts, including landslide risks and blockage of fish passage (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Chafee #1 (WEI03.585) to amend the definition of the term “transportation enhancement activity”(ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Chafee #2 (WEI03.579) to acknowledge that cooperating agencies have certain obligations (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Cornyn #8, definition of "vicinity of a school," as modified (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Murkowski #1, to restore funding for reconstruction of the Alaska Highway (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Murkowski #4 with 2nd degree, to make the identification of areas where wildlife crossing structures may be needed optional (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Murkowski #5 with 2nd degree, to provide an option to specific site identification in long range planning (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Murkowski #6 to focus the project development process on major requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (disapproved by voice vote)

•Murkowski #9 as modified to adjust the statewide incident reporting system deadline for where real-time reporting is not currently practical (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Murkowski #12 to ensure that consideration of “thermal collapse” includes consideration of changes related to melting of permafrost (12 yeas, 6 nays, 1 not voting)

•Thomas #3 (WEi03.635) to make a technical change (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Thomas #11 (WEI03.373) to enable States greater flexibility to address air pollution (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Thomas #12 (TRU03.A19) to provide conditions for purchases of equipment (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Thomas #13 (DEC03.F26), as modified to encourage the provision of certain workzone safety measures (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Allard #2 (WEI03.649) with a 2nd degree, to amend a provision relating to project mitigation (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Allard #3, as modified to amend a provision relating to project mitigation to amend a provision relating to the variable toll pricing program (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Baucus #2, as modified, to amend a provision relating to highway use tax evasion projects (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Baucus #6 (FLO03.A52) to reserve to States the option of accepting a decreased Federal share (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Baucus #13 (FLO03.B69) to amend provisions relating to highway safety (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Baucus #14 (WEI03.635) to clarify that States will receive apportionments for the highway safety improvement program at least until October 1 of the second fiscal year after the date of enactment of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act of 2003 (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Baucus #15 (FLO03.B76) to direct the Secretary of Transportation to promulgate regulations to decrease the probability of worker injury and to maintain the free flow of vehicular traffic (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Baucus #17 (WEI03.448) to amend a provision relating to roles and responsibilities of lead agencies (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Baucus #18 (WEI03.452)to require a lead agency to establish a schedule for completion of the environmental review process (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Baucus #19 (FLO03.B56) to modify the Federal share payable for certain highway projects (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Baucus #22 (FLO03.B01) to require the Secretary to give priority funding for the park roads and parkway program to older and more heavily visited National Parks (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Graham #3 (DEC03.D23) to permit certain funds to be transferred among Federal agencies and programs (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Graham #4 (END03.894) to strike the provisions requiring to conduct the national surface transportation system study and require the Secretary to conduct the study(ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Graham #6 (WEI03.426) to expand a technical advisory committee to include State and local officials (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Graham #10, to add MPOs to stakeholder list (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Graham #11 (DEC03.C98) to add local tax mechanisms to consideration by panel (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Graham #22 (DEC03.C90) to include the operation and maintenance of transit facilities as a purpose for which certain funds may be used (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Graham #24 (END03.951) to modify the selection criteria for the multistate corridor program (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Graham #27 (DEC03.D22) to strike the subtitle relating to clean hydrogen fuel cell research for transportation (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Graham #32 to add high priority projects, safe routes to school, and railroad grade crossings to the calculation for the Minimum Guarantee (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Boxer #1, to allow for eligibility for rush hour congestion relief (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Boxer #20 (WEI03.590) to ensure consultation in planning (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Boxer #22 with a 2nd degree, to require consultation during State transportation planning with respect to nonmetropolitan areas(ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Boxer #23 (FLO03.B79) to clarify the applicability of other laws and regulations under the transportation project development process (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Boxer #38 (FLO03.B87) to modify the provision relating to sychronized conformity determinations (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Boxer #40 (FLO03.B90) to modify the definition of the term “regionally significant project” (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Boxer #43 (WEI03.611 to ensure that States take measures necessary to clean the air (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Boxer #47 (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Wyden #1 (END03.952) to improve the transportation and community and system preservation pilot program (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Wyden #2 (DEC03.C61)to establish a priority for the provision of funds under the national corridor planning and development program (disagreed by voice vote)

•Wyden #3 (END03.920) to increase discretionary bridge funding ( as modified(ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Wyden #5 (DEC03.E08) to modify provisions relating to State infrastructure banks (Accepted by voice vote)

• Carper #6 (WEI03.528) to clarify a provision relating to the objectives of the freight transportation coordinator (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

• Carper #9 (END03.945) to clarify that only surface transportation infrastructure modifications associated with intermodal facilities are eligible for intermodal freight transportation project funding (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Carper #10, to clarify the definition of project under infrastructure finance (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Carper #27 (WEI03.553) to continue system management and operations of the I-95 Corridor Coalition from funds made available for ITS standards, research, operational tests, and development (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Carper #28 (WEI03.632) to remove authorization for the intercity bus intermodal passenger facility grant program from the mass Transit Account (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Clinton #7 (WEI03.497) to combine the future of the Federal-aid system study with the modified revenue source commission (8 ayes, 11 nays)

•Clinton #10 (FLO03.B55) to improve the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Clinton #19 (DEC03.F15) to strike provisions relating to use of non-Federal funds (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Clinton #25 (FLO03.B32) to strike the provision relating to user fees for shared use paths (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Clinton #34 (WEI03.479) to modify the multistate corridor program to make all designated high priority corridors eligible for funding (disagreed by voice vote)

•Clinton #36 (TRU03.A16) to establish a research program to encourage transportation equity (disagreed by voice vote)

•Clinton #38 (WEI03.496) to set aside funds from the surface transportation research program for I-95 corridor coalition (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Clinton #40 (WEI03.643) to allow university transportation centers to reapply only once (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)

•Clinton #44, Daniel Patrick Moynihan Highway to designate Interstate Highway 86 in New York State for Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (ACCEPTED BY MANAGERS)