Surface Infrastructure Bill Transfers From Capito Committee As Infrastructure Discussions Continue | News, Sports, Jobs
CHARLESTON – Calling him “anchor” For ongoing infrastructure talks with the White House, Senator Shelley Moore Capito supported a transportation improvement program on Wednesday.
The U.S. Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works unanimously passed the 2021 Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act Wednesday morning after the committee annotated the bill.
“I have always been optimistic about our arrival here”, says Capito, RW.Va. “But I am delighted that we have reached a bipartite agreement that will meet the surface transport needs of our country.”
The bill was passed by the committee five days after EPW President Tom Carper, D-Del., And Republican-rank member Capito, announced the bill’s release last Saturday. The bill is also the work of Senator Ben Cardin, D-Md., Chairman of the EPW Subcommittee on Transportation Infrastructure, and Senator Kevin Cramer, RN.D., senior Republican member of the Deputy committee.
The Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act marks a 34% increase in funding over the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act of 2015, setting funding levels at $ 303.5 billion for various highway, road and bridge projects managed by the US Department of Transportation. Until the reauthorization bill is passed by Congress, authorization for these programs will expire on September 30.
Most of the funding through the new law will be distributed to the 50 states through a funding formula, allowing more flexibility for states to use the money according to their needs. More than $ 2 billion is earmarked for the Rural Surface Transportation Subsidy Program, which can be used for projects in the Appalachian Development Highway System and the finishing of the H Corridor.
Another feature of the bill includes provisions for a program called A Federal Decision, a program designed to streamline environmental review processes while providing greater accountability.
“There is a lot in this bill for both sides and for all communities, regardless of their size or region in the country,” Said Capito. “It represents the real compromise between the two parties. Most importantly, it will stimulate current and future economic growth, create jobs, while improving the quality of life for the people of our country. “
The Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act is the second infrastructure bill to be unanimously passed by the EPW. Last month, the committee passed the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act, 2021, which provides $ 35 billion in funding for drinking water and wastewater development projects. The funding will modernize the aging water line and wastewater infrastructure. The bill passed the full Senate 89-2.
The two bills are seen as the first two precursors of the U.S. jobs plan, the $ 2.3 trillion infrastructure package designed by President Joe Biden. The U.S. Jobs Plan includes traditional infrastructure projects, such as roads, bridges, public transportation, railways, ports and waterways, airports, water and sewage, and broadband, but also financing for “Human infrastructure” including billions for home health care.
Republicans from Capito and the Senate negotiated with officials from Biden and the White House. The Republican Roadmap infrastructure plan would cost $ 568 billion and focus exclusively on traditional infrastructure. Republicans have expressed some willingness to change their pricing, but insist that the plan be paid off without undoing former President Donald Trump’s corporate tax cuts. The White House has gone from $ 2.3 trillion to $ 1.7 trillion, still too high a price for Senate Republicans.
Biden has set a Memorial Day deadline to reach a deal, though his possible talks continue beyond this weekend. Republicans are expected to make a counter-offer later today. But during the committee meeting, Capito said bipartisan work by both sides on the surface transport reauthorization law was a positive sign.
“There has been a lot of talk of a broader bipartisan agreement in discussions with the White House,” Said Capito. “This bill is really the anchor of these bipartisan discussions.”
(Adams can be contacted at [email protected])