April 19, 2015 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Transportation

Pennsylvania Infrastructure Tour Underscores Essential Federal Role in Transportation | Commentary

Earlier this month, I was joined by members of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which I chair, other members of Congress and five state secretaries of Transportation from around the country as we traveled across my home state of Pennsylvania.

Small Businesses Deserve More Than 'Functionally Obsolete' | Commentary

We’re still in the first days of spring, but I know one of the highlights of the summer for me and for my district is going to be Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game at Great American Ballpark on the Cincinnati riverfront. Not only are baseball fans gearing up for this fun tradition, but the countless small businesses that support the sports industry as a whole, and the city of Cincinnati, have great hopes for the game and all of its associated activities.

FAA Reauthorization: Keeping Our Place as the World's Aviation Leader | Commentary

The United States has been the international leader in aviation since the Wright brothers’ first flight in 1903. Our aviation system has provided the model for the rest of the world over the past 112 years, and today, it is among the safest and most efficient. But competitors are all around us. If we stop innovating and investing in our aviation system, we will lose our leadership position.

We Can't Afford to Back Down From Infrastructure Investments | Commentary

In Pennsylvania, we have some of the most run-down roads and bridges in the country. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 22 percent of our state’s roads have unacceptable pavement quality and 43 percent of our bridges are functionally obsolete or structurally deficient. Earlier this month, I visited the Greenfield Bridge, where another bridge had to be built underneath to protect drivers from debris falling from Greenfield’s crumbling infrastructure.

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Port, Waterways Funds May Have Surplus Next Year

Congress has a self-inflicted problem in funding the nation’s ports and waterways infrastructure: There’s more money available than lawmakers are likely to spend.

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Ahead of Highway Bill Deadline, One Republican's Evolution on the Road to Transport Devolution

Supporters of a strong federal role in transportation have what seems like an unlikely ally in their effort to shift the direction of highway spending from Washington to the states.

Port Dispute May Force Obama to Invoke Taft-Hartley Act

When managers of cargo terminals at 29 West Coast ports closed their facilities to ships last weekend, they opened the door to a new discussion about when the president can invoke powers under labor law to keep the country’s transportation networks running.

Shippers Expecting Happier Chinese New Year

West Coast ports opened with a backlog of ships waiting to unload this week, after vessel operations were halted by employers over the weekend.

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Heritage to Offer Conservative Budget Blueprint

More than 100 cost-savings proposals, due out from the Heritage Foundation on Thursday, could provide ammunition for conservative lawmakers in coming debates over restructuring entitlement programs, addressing the post-sequester discretionary spending caps, reauthorizing the Highway Trust Fund and raising the debt limit.

Infrastructure Bonds Provide Funding Option

Robert Puentes, an infrastructure expert at the Brookings Institution, said federally backed infrastructure bonds could encourage state and local governments to step into the bond market once again.

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Tailing Europe, U.S. Is on the Road to New Investment Bonds

The White House’s idea to promote public- private partnerships with a new kind of investment bond could raise billions of dollars for transportation projects with relatively little fiscal effect on the government, but the big infrastructure projects carry big risks for the private sector.

We Must Reinvest in Our Crumbling Infrastructure | Commentary

Last year, America’s deteriorating roads cost drivers more than $67 billion in repairs and operating costs, or about $324 per driver. Subpar and sometimes dangerous road conditions are quickly becoming a widespread problem throughout the country. Unless action is taken to reinvest in our failing infrastructure, the long-term cost to our economy and taxpayers will be devastating.

White House's New Bonds Seek to Attract Private Investment

The White House’s effort to promote public-private partnerships for infrastructure is the latest effort to tap the private sector for funds in an era of tight fiscal constraints. The outcome, if successful, could raise billions of dollars for investment in transportation projects with relatively little fiscal effect on the government.

Gas Tax Hike Not Ruled Out by Inhofe

Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman James M. Inhofe said Wednesday that the GOP continues to look at a gas tax increase among other alternatives to cover shortfalls in transportation spending, characterizing the mechanism as a "user fee."

Wisconsin Proposal Will Figure in Presidential Politics

Wisconsin is a particularly significant test case for considering alternatives to the excise tax on fuel, especially considering the proposal that emerged in the days after Gov. Scott Walker won re-election.

State Fees on Hybrid, Electric Cars Suggest Alternative Path for Highway Funding

In his Nov. 14 budget request, Mark Gottlieb, Wisconsin’s secretary of Transportation, suggested assessing a special $50 registration fee on owners of hybrid and electric vehicles “to ensure these owners continue to pay their fair share of the operating costs of our infrastructure.”

FAA Playing Fast and Loose With Passenger Safety and Flight Delays | Commentary

At a time when U.S. airline passengers are experiencing the highest rate of flight delays in more than 20 years, the Federal Aviation Administration is proposing radical changes to its air traffic control management programs that could lead to further flight delays, cancellations and jeopardize aircraft and passenger safety.

While Cromnibus Waits, Teamsters Object to Pension Plan

Senate talks are underway in hopes of wrapping up a spending measure by Saturday.

Looking for Investment in the Next Generation

Privatization backers of a corporation model such as the one used in Canada would help advance the technological upgrades required under the beleaguered NextGen air traffic control modernization program.

Are Skies Clearing for Rebuilding Air Traffic Control?

The question of whether the government should run the air traffic control system has been hanging over the aviation industry, and Capitol Hill, at least since President Ronald Reagan quashed the 1981 controllers’ strike. Any talk about restructuring or privatizing the operations now under the Federal Aviation Administration has long been blocked by the union representing the controllers, however, arguing that air traffic control is inherently a government function.

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