Last week new House Transportation Chair Bill Shuster outlined the issues and legislation his Committee will focus on during 2013.
Preparing for the renewal of surface transportation programs – the modification and renewal of MAP-21 – is of course on the list. Shuster addresses what will be the toughest issue:
“Key to that effort will be paying for the investments responsibly. With the Highway Trust Fund facing its own version of a fiscal cliff in the coming years, we must find a way to pay for transportation improvements without borrowing from our children. We cannot borrow our way to a better future. We must work together, listen to all ideas and opinions, and build a consensus on what is best for America and our future prosperity.” For more details read his op-ed, Shuster: Strengthen Our Transportation Network, Roll Call
Shuster outlines several other priorities in his op-ed:
“Reauthorization of the Water Resources Development Act will be a top priority. Inland waterways and seaports link our nation directly to the global economy and our country’s export potential directly depends on the ability to get goods to market.
Federal passenger and freight rail safety programs expire in 2013. This reauthorization will provide an opportunity to look for more cost-effective and innovative approaches to delivering modern and efficient passenger rail service.
Additionally, the committee will pursue an aggressive oversight agenda. Oversight of the recently enacted MAP-21 will be critical to ensure its major reforms, including the streamlining of the bureaucratic approval process for transportation projects, are implemented in accordance with congressional intent. Ensuring we move forward with important aviation modernization reforms is also essential to reduce air traffic delays, cut down on emissions and pollution, and lower costs for consumers.”