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. We will also focus on holding federal agencies accountable to ensure common-sense regulations and to restore regulatory balance to provide the certainty necessary to create jobs.
Finally, preparing for the reauthorization of surface transportation programs, which expire on Sept. 30, 2014, will be a priority of the committee. Our national surface transportation network is the foundation on which our economy and our way of life are built. Without significant improvements to this network, and additional reforms to federal programs, transportation will become increasingly inefficient and unreliable, will be a drag on our economy, and will hurt the ability of our businesses to remain competitive in the global economy. We cannot let this happen and must modernize our national transportation systems.
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. I am committed to this effort and to working with my colleagues to make it happen.
Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., is chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.