CAWP Legislative News 9-12
June 1, 2012
CAWP Attends TCC Fly-In to Urge Congress to Pass Transportation Bill
Close to 400 members of the Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) came to Washington, D.C. this week as part of the 11th Annual TCC Legislative Fly-In to urge Congress to complete action on the transportation reauthorization bill before the current extension expires on June 30. The participants heard from House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) and the Ranking Democrat Nick Rahall (W.Va.), who discussed the status of negotiations between the 47 members of the House/Senate Conference Committee who are charged with negotiating a compromise bill. Chairman Mica indicated that members of the T&I Committee are actively participating in the staff deliberations in an effort to keep discussions moving forward. Rep. Rahall said he was cautiously optimistic that the negotiations will be successful. Senate Environment and Public Committee's staff director told the group that Committee Chair Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Cal.) is committed to working with the House conferees to develop a bill that will receive enough support to be enacted.
The speakers indicated that some of the issues will not easily be negotiated, such as the approval of construction of the keystone pipeline and whether to prohibit EPA from designating fly ash as a hazardous waste - these issues will most likely be set aside for now and dealt with when other issues have been resolved.
TCC participants delivered the message to their congressional delegations that a bill needs to be completed now to ensure that there will be no disruption in state bidding schedules as we enter peak construction season. TCC members called for at least maintaining the FY 2011 funding levels in a deficit neutral fashion and called for the inclusion of long-overdue policy reforms, particularly related to improving the timeline on environmental review and approval.
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