• Mica to Keynote Alliance Luncheon on Aug. 11 in Houston
The U.S. Congress continues to move forward in planning for a new surface transportation authorization bill establishing the policy framework and federal funding for the next few years.
U.S. Congressman John L. Mica, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, will provide a first-hand update on the bill's outlook during a luncheon meeting hosted by the Alliance for I-69 Texas.
Chairman Mica is responsible for overseeing the development and passage of a multi-year bill the national need for large-scale investment in transportation infrastructure. He will discuss how the ongoing policy and funding debate may impact projects such as Interstate 69 in Texas.
The luncheon event -- open to anyone interested in transportation policy -- will be from 11:30 am to 1 pm on Thursday, August 11, at the Houston Airport Marriott Hotel. The hotel is located at the center of George Bush Intercontinental Airport. It was selected to make the meeting more convenient for individuals traveling by air.
Tickets may also be ordered by mail or by fax.
The Alliance is seeking sponsors for the luncheon. For more information contact Jennifer Shepard at 703-580-4416 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TRANSPORTATION REAUTHORIZATION BILL:
In Washington, House Republicans and Senate Democrats have rolled out competing reauthorization bills to pay for highway and other infrastructure projects. The six-year, $230 billion House measure would reduce transportation spending by about a third from existing levels and would encourage private investors to help build additional projects. The two-year, $109 billion Senate bill calls for finding some $12 billion in new tax money to maintain existing funding levels for construction of roads, bridges and mass transit.
President Barack Obama has said moving ahead with "a major infrastructure initiative could make a huge, positive impact on the economy overall."
Chairman Mica (R., Fla.) has said he wants to boost transportation funding but that political realities prevent him from doing so. In January, the House Republican leadership imposed a rule that forbids lawmakers from approving any new transportation funding that would add to the deficit.
Mica said that his bill would attempt to minimize the pain by devoting more dollars to programs designed to spur "public-private partnerships," in which private investors put up money for construction and then typically take a role in managing the project.