Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, confirmed Friday that the House Republican leadership agreed he can seek additional revenues for a transportation reauthorization bill — a move that would avoid a projected 30% cut in federal transportation spending.
The spending, however, may be linked to GOP demands that Democrats and the White House agree to open oil reserves, such as those offshore in Alaska, to drilling.
A transportation industry source told Transport Topics that Mica first announced that the leadership had given him permission to seek new revenue during a Thursday meeting with a group of transportation stakeholders.
The same source said that a Sept. 15 speech by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) in Washington seems to have foreshadowed the GOP strategy on transportation spending.
“I’m not opposed to responsible spending to repair and improve infrastructure,” Boehner said. “But if we want to do it in a way that truly supports long-term economic growth and job creation, let’s link the next highway bill to an expansion of American-made energy production.”