Day Two of Massive Transportation Committee Hearing Underway

Highways and Transit Subcommittee Chair John Duncan (R-TN) can’t stop mentioning that this kind of hearing has “never been done before.” The subcommittee is hearing from 20 witnesses a day for two days in an effort to satisfy every interest group’s need to speak before the committee gets to work crafting the next surface transportation reauthorization bill.

As I write, we’re on Witness #7 for Day Two. We’ve hearing a lot of frustration about the government’s hamstrung ability to invest in infrastructure because of unwillingness to raise the gas tax or shift to a vehicle-miles-traveled fee. (In fact, Adrian Moore of the Reason Foundation just made a passionate plea for a VMT fee, despite what Duncan thought was the irony of a libertarian, usually so concerned with privacy issues, advocating for a system some have worried would be overly intrusive.)

Some made suggestions on how to do more with less and some said they’re already doing way too much with way too little. Transit advocates said the service reductions that transit agencies have been forced to undertake were “criminal” and highway advocates said transit should be kicked out of the highway trust fund.

We’ll post the details when today’s session is over. Meanwhile, you can watch the proceedings live here.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Sparks Fly as Lawmaker Grills LaHood on Columbia River Crossing Transit

|
From the beginning of today’s hearing, Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee made it clear they weren’t going to let Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s last appearance before them be an easy one. While the hearing’s purpose was to examine the department’s budget request, the tough questions LaHood fielded on the budget were nothing compared to […]

T&I Chair Bill Shuster Complicates Matters With Push for VMT Fee

|
All options may be on the table for funding transportation, but Bill Shuster has chosen his. Rep. Shuster, head of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, hasn’t been willing to commit to any one proposal for funding transportation until now. And his choice may make things complicated. At a Bloomberg Government event yesterday, Shuster came […]

Mica Transpo Bill Shrinks Spending 33%, Eliminates Bike-Ped Guarantee

|
House Transportation Committee Chair John Mica’s proposed transportation reauthorization bill includes $230 billion over six years, a reduction of 33 percent compared to spending levels in the last multi-year bill. The proposal, which he unveiled at a standing-room-only press event in the committee hearing room today, eliminates any federal guarantee (he calls it a “set-aside”) for […]