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Phyllis Harden

Legislative & Special Projects, Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel
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Highway & Transportation

March 25, 2016

Contact Your Member of Congress During Spring Recess and Urge them to Support Increased Airport Infrastructure Funding

Before the House of Representatives left on their two-week spring recess, its members passed a bill to extend Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) programs through mid-July. AGC has been pushing Congress to increase funding for the Airport Improvement Program and modernize the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) program.  With the House out until April 11 and the Senate out until April 4, now is a great opportunity for AGC members to contact their members of Congress while they are home and urge them to pass a FAA Reauthorization bill that includes these two AGC-supported reforms. 

March 24, 2016

This week the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced it was making $15 million available for grants to test alternative revenue mechanisms to address the long-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund. 

March 18, 2016

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) addressed AGC’s Highway and Transportation Division during AGC’s 97th Annual Convention in San Antonio, Texas. Chairman Brady’s committee is responsible for tax issues in the House including Highway Trust Fund motor fuel tax revenue. He said he was pleased that Congress was able to find sufficient revenue last year to fund the FAST Act for the next five years but he believes we need to get back to a user fee-based revenue source. He reported that transportation committee chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) is organizing a summit of key House members and outside stakeholders to discuss the best route to a long-term, sustainable solution.

March 18, 2016

House and Senate Pass Competing Extensions

This week, the Senate Commerce Committee passed the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2016. The nearly two-year authorization provides a $400 million increase in 2017 for the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) but does not lift the volume cap on the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) program.  The AIP and PFC are the main funding and financing mechanisms for airport and runway infrastructure projects.  Prior to the committee’s consideration, AGC sent a letter supporting the increase in the AIP and asking for the Senate to consider an increase in the PFC as the legislative process moves forward.

March 18, 2016

Deliver the Message at the TCC Fly-In

The Transportation Construction Coalition’s (TCC) 2016 Legislative Fly-In is scheduled for May 10-11, 2016. While the FAST provides a steady source of funding over the next five years for highway and transit programs, the legislation did not solve the long-term Highway Trust Fund revenue problem. At the expiration of the FAST Act in FY 2020, significant new revenue will be needed just to maintain current funding levels. Your Senators and Representative need to understand that they need to get started on fixing the transportation infrastructure investment shortfall we are facing now and into the future.

March 18, 2016

House Budget Committee approved the week of March 14 a fiscal year 2017 budget resolution by a 20-16 vote.  Republicans on the Budget Committee say their $3.9 trillion plan would reduce deficits by $7 trillion over 10 years, without increasing taxes, by cutting $6.5 trillion in government spending.  The budget maintains the $1.07 trillion cap for discretionary spending in fiscal year 2017 that was set in last year’s bipartisan budget agreement – a level opposed by members of the House Freedom Caucus who want greater reductions in discretionary spending. Interestingly the Freedom Caucus opposition may lead to a continuing resolution that will result in a defense spending cut of more than $2 billion.

March 18, 2016

The week of March 14, the Senate Commerce Committee passed the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2016. The nearly two-year authorization provides a $400 million increase in 2017 for the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) but does not lift the volume cap on the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) program.  The AIP and PFC are the main funding and financing mechanisms for airport and runway infrastructure projects.  Prior to the committee’s consideration, AGC sent a letter supporting the increase in the AIP and asking for the Senate to consider an increase in the PFC as the legislative process moves forward.

March 18, 2016

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) this week extended for one year a pilot program allowing state DOTs to include a geographic-based (local) hiring preference as a contract requirement on federally-assisted highway construction projects. The pilot was originally set to expire on March 6, 2015. When first proposed US DOT simultaneously proposed a new rule allowing the use of local hire requirements on a permanent basis. Thus far eight states have asked for and received permission to use local hire requirements as part of the FHWA pilot program. US DOT has indicated that it intends to approve and evaluate the results of these projects under the pilot program before deciding how to proceed with its proposed rule.

March 18, 2016

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) addressed AGC’s Highway and Transportation Division today during AGC’s 97th Annual Convention in San Antonio, Texas. Chairman Brady’s committee is responsible for tax issues in the House including Highway Trust Fund motor fuel tax revenue. He said he was pleased that Congress was able to find sufficient revenue last year to fund the FAST Act for the next five years but he believes we need to get back to a user fee based revenue source. He reported that transportation committee chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) is organizing a summit of the key House members and outside stakeholders to discuss the best route to a long term sustainable solution..

 

March 4, 2016

This week, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) indicated that he and House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA.) are close to agreement on a three-month extension of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) programs.  This extension will be necessary to allow for the House and Senate to work through the legislative process.  The current authorization expires on March 31.

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