May 22, 2015 SIGN IN | REGISTER
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Transportation

Motorists' Efficiency Might Drive Taxes Up

The problem Congress faces in paying for new highways and other transportation projects is that the Highway Trust Fund, which for decades has financed road and transit spending, is running out of revenue.

Carper Looks for Bipartisan Solution to Gas Tax

A big argument against raising the gasoline tax to provide more money for transportation projects is that the gas tax, by its nature, affects low- and middle-income people more than it does the wealthy.

Amtrak Crash Puts Spotlight on Washington

The Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia Tuesday that killed at least seven people and injured hundreds quickly rippled back to Washington, where lawmakers and regulators have been trying to find the right response to a spate of rail accidents in recent years and House appropriators were slated Wednesday to set spending levels for transportation, including Amtrak.

Appropriators Raise Safety at Transportation-HUD Markup

The House Appropriations Committee marked up the fiscal 2016 Transportation-HUD appropriations bill Wednesday with panel members addressing the deadly Amtrak derailment the night before.

The Urgent Need to Bolster Tank Car Safety Standards | Commentary

In 2013, 47 people were killed in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, when a runaway oil train derailed and exploded.

Attitude Shift on Freight Infrastructure May Change the Way Congress Funds Transportation

With Congress starting work on reauthorizing highway and transit programs, several lawmakers from both parties want the government to give more attention to the movement of freight on the nation’s highways, rails and waterways because of its importance to the economy. And since there’s no agreement on how to replenish the Highway Trust Fund, which has mostly paid for road and rail projects for decades, these lawmakers want the new investments in freight infrastructure to have their own dedicated revenue stream.

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.

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.

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."

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