On June 10, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved legislation to reauthorize federal-aid highway and transit programs, on a mostly partly line vote. This five-year, $547 billon bill will now go to the full House for a floor vote at a yet to be determined date. An AGC analysis of this legislation as passed by committee may be found here. While AGC is supportive of the investment levels in this legislation, the association has significant concerns with the bill’s significant restrictions to building new highways and expanding highway lanes and lack of environmental review and permit streamlining initiatives, among other things.
Ahead of the T&I Committee vote, AGC supported two amendments to the legislation: (1) one to strike a provision that would artificially restrict the construction of new highways or highway lanes, thereby reducing highway construction contracts available to bid and harming small businesses and DBE firms that do not have the financial means to adapt their equipment fleets to change from a new road builder to road paving and maintenance contractor; and (2) another to include the One Federal Decision policy that would accelerate the federal environmental review and permitting process without harming the environment by reducing bureaucratic duplication, setting clear deadlines and holding federal agencies accountable.
Both of these amendments were offered and failed largely on party lines during the committee markup. AGC will continue to work with members of the House to ensure these two provisions are addressed in any final reauthorization bill.