DPC | March 6, 2012
Republicans Continue To Block Transportation Jobs Bill, Democrats Fight To Put Americans Back To Work
Floor Message This Week: REPUBLICANS CONTINUE TO BLOCK TRANSPORTATION JOBS BILL, DEMOCRATS FIGHT TO PUT AMERICANS BACK TO WORK
As you know, today Senate Republicans overwhelmingly voted against a motion to bring debate on the Surface Transportation bill to a close. In the three weeks this important legislation has been on the floor, Republicans have remained more intent on pushing unrelated and extreme amendments, rather than working with Democrats to help create or save millions of jobs.
As negotiations on the bill continue, we’d like to keep up the drumbeat of support for this bipartisan reauthorization of our surface transportation programs by having Democrats on the floor today and throughout the week.
Below and attached you will find talking points, a floor chart and a fact sheet provided by the DPCC. Let us know if you need any other floor materials or if you’d like to find time to send your boss to the floor. (email@example.com)
Talking Points: An America Built to Last Needs Roads and Bridges Built to Last
· Putting Americans back to work is job one.
· That is why we are working to pass a bill in the Senate that will rebuild America’s roads and bridges, modernize our transit systems, and create or save almost three million good-paying jobs.
· This is a bipartisan bill that was passed unanimously out of committee, in stark contrast to the partisan approach being taken by the Tea Party Republicans in the House.
· The Chamber of Commerce agrees, urging passage of this legislation because it “is a specific action Congress and the Administration can take right now to support job growth and economic productivity without adding to the deficit.” [Letter to Congress, 2/6/12]
(Chart in the cloak room)
· The Senate bill will help create an economy built to lastby investing in America’s infrastructure, and doing so in a fiscally responsible and sustainable way.
DPCC Fact Sheet and State-by-State Information
Below you will find a DPCC fact sheet on the transportation bill.
County-level data on deficient bridges can be found here: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/bridge/britab.cfm.
Maps of deficient bridges can be found here: http://www.bts.gov/programs/geographic_information_services/maps/structurally_deficient_bridges_on_the_national_highway_system/
S. 1813 – Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21)
· MAP-21 makes landmark reforms to modernize and improve current surface transportation programs.
· With over 50% of our roads in disrepair and over 70,000 structurally deficient bridges nationally, MAP-21 provides much needed investment for our failing infrastructure.
The federal law authorizing surface transportation programs expired at the end of FY2009. Since then, federal surface transportation programs have been continued through a series of extensions. The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) is a two-year bipartisan reauthorization of the nation’s surface transportation programs. The major highway provisions of this legislation are as follows:
· Authorizes $39.1 billion for FY2012 and $39.8 billion for FY2013 to be apportioned to the states by formula for federal-aid highway programs, and $400 million for research and education in each fiscal year.
· Consolidates the total number of highway programs from roughly 90 to 30 to focus on key national goals and provide greater flexibility to the states so that they may invest in their top priorities.
The overall Federal-Aid Highway Program would be structured around five large "core" programs, including a new National Freight Program and distributes highway funds to each state based on its share of total apportionments and allocations received during FY2005-FY2009.
· Focuses resources on preserving and improving the condition of our nation’s highways, bridges and transit systems and for the efficient movement of goods to help our economy remain competitive.
· Expands innovative financing programs, like TIFIA, that use federal funding to leverage additional local and private investments in transportation.
· Eliminates earmarks.
· Accelerates project completion, speeds up the environmental review process and introduces the use of performance measures in order to transform federal transportation programs by moving into an outcome-based, performance driven approach to improve results and accountability.
The major transit provisions of this legislation include:
· Provides $10.458 billion, annually, for FY2012-FY2013, the current funding level for public transportation programs. Previously earmarked funds are moved into core formula programs that guarantee stable, robust funding for every transit system.
· Improves the safety of public transportation systems by improving the effectiveness of federal and state oversight and requiring public transportation safety plans at transit agencies.
· Establishes a system to monitor and manage public transportation assets to improve safety and increase reliability and performance.
· Eliminates earmarks from federal transit programs.
· Streamlines the New Starts process for transit construction to accelerate project delivery by eliminating duplicative steps and speed federal decision-making.
· Establishes a State of Good Repair program to assist public transportation systems in addressing the backlog of maintenance needs.
The major surface transportation, safety, and freight provisions of this legislation include:
Improves and establishes National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) grant programs to address long-standing and emerging driving issues; enhances NHTSA’s enforcement authority and transparency, and strengthens NHTSA’s expertise in advanced technologies
Modernizes the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) approach to truck and bus safety by increasing the use of technology and data to drive enforcement efforts; ensuring that only the safest truck and bus drivers are authorized to drive on our highways; improving the safety laws and regulations that govern drivers and vehicles that operate in the industry; and enhancing FMCSA’s authority tools to oversee the truck, bus, and household goods movers industries.
Establishes a clear and unified mission for our federal surface transportation and freight networks, including a long-term vision for surface and freight transportation programs that the Secretary of Transportation will have to implement through a surface transportation and freight strategic plan; provides more transparency and accountability to the federal surface transportation funding programs.
Builds on existing rail programs at Amtrak and at the Federal Railroad Administration to further refine and streamline development of a robust intercity passenger rail system and takes steps to address key rail safety concerns.
- Enhances the Research and Innovative Technology Administration’s (RITA) innovative planning and research capability; streamlines RITA’s current authority; and improves RITA’s ability to spur innovation in transportation research. Increases the safety and oversight of the hazardous materials being transported through our nation’s transportation networks.
Industry Stakeholders Support MAP-21:
The US Chamber Of Commerce Supports The Bipartisan Senate Bill. The US Chamber supports maintaining the current level of funding plus an allowance for inflation. The Chamber shares the goal of Senate Democrats to attain the optimal achievable authorization in a deficit neutral manner that maintains broad bipartisan support. [US Chamber, 2/6/12]
The AFL-CIO Supports a Robust Transportation Bill.In a rare point of bipartisan agreement, the AFL-CIO and the Chamber of Commerce joined forces to come out against the House GOP proposal, arguing for a “robust” transportation bill. The AFL-CIO believes the bipartisan Senate bill is the way forward. [The Hill, 2/21/12]
- American Public Transportation Association: MAP-21 Demonstrates a Strong Commitment to Continuing Federal Funding of Public Transportation Programs. APTA supports the bipartisan Senate bill that provides the vital funding to address the public transportation needs of communities across the country. APTA believes MAP-21 is essential to job creation, economic growth and to the long-term stability of vital transportation programs. [APTA, 2/15/12]