By Stephen Lee Davis
Washington, DC (August 11, 2009)- Chairman Oberstar of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is planning a full committee mark-up of the Surface Transportation Authorization Act of 2009 as soon as Congress comes back from the August recess. Appearing at an economic recovery news conference Wednesday in Minnesota, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman James Oberstar said he will hold a full committee mark-up of a $500 billion, six-year federal surface transportation authorization the week of Labor Day, when Congress returns from its summer recess. Oberstar, D-MN, told Minnesota Public Radio that he expects to have the bill on the floor by the third week of September.
Though the Chairman has been promised by leadership that his transportation bill will come to the floor by the third week of September, the same obstacles to quick passage still remain. The Ways and Means Committee is responsible for determining how to pay for a bill that’s nearly twice as expensive as the last 6-year bill, and to date, they’ve indicated little willingness to think long and hard about transportation revenue while engaged in the health care and climate debates.
As Ken Orski points out, “only 15 of the 41 committee members have gone on record in a letter to committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY) supporting prompt action (i.e. in September) on a revenue package for the bill.”
Surface Transportation Authorization Act of 2009
National Highway Chokepoint Congestion Relief Act