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The Democratic leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives plans to make good on its pledge to pass some type of an infrastructure bill by July 4. And the path toward that goal runs through the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
On June 9, the transportation panel is scheduled to consider its Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation, or INVEST, in America Act, a five-year, $547 billion meant to update much of the country’s mobility networks. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) insists the legislation departs from the Eisenhower-era viewpoint of highway policy to facilitate access to new and existing technologies.
“The benefits of transformative investments in our infrastructure are far-ranging: We can create and sustain good-paying jobs, many of which don’t require a college degree, restore our global competitiveness, tackle climate change head-on, and improve the lives of all Americans through modern infrastructure that emphasizes mobility and access, and spurs our country’s long-term economic growth,” the chairman said June 4.
“The INVEST in America Act puts a core piece of President [Joe] Biden’s American Jobs Plan into legislative text, seizing this once-in-a-generation opportunity to move our transportation planning out of the 1950s and toward our clean energy future,” he added.
According to background the committee provided, provisions specific to trucking include authorizing $2.2 billion in contract authority for fiscal years 2023 through 2026 for motor carrier safety grants. The bill would direct the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s administrator to accelerate the modernization of the agency’s information technology and management systems, complete outstanding statutory mandates and undertake a new Large Truck Causation study. And, it would require FMCSA to review the impact of hours-of-service rules, such as exemptions and expansions of on-duty time for commercial truck drivers which were finalized in a 2020 rulemaking.
The bill is on track to pass the committee this week, notwithstanding significant pushback from Republicans. The committee’s ranking members recently expressed their frustration with the measure: “Instead of working with Republicans to find common ground on a bill that could earn strong bipartisan support, something our Senate counterparts did successfully last month, this bill moves even further to the left to appease the most progressive members in the majority’s party.”
#InfrastructureIsCalling. After decades of underinvestment, our roads, bridges, transit, and rail are in trouble. @TransportDems are stepping up to answer the call. The #InvestAct will fix our ailing infrastructure AND transform it for the future. https://t.co/fr3ZiaG3kC— Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (@TransportDems) June 4, 2021
As Congress debates infrastructure matters, prominent stakeholders continue to champion passage of a big-picture measure by that festive American holiday, July 4.
The Week Ahead (all times Eastern)
June 9, 10 a.m.: The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee scheduled a markup of a multi-year highway policy bill.
In a post-pandemic economy, America keeps on trucking.
The Cullum Owings Large Truck Safe Operating Speed Act, sponsored by Reps. Lucy McBath (D-Ga.), and John Katko (R-N.Y.), would seek to implement existing proposals regarding speed limiter technology. Specifically, the legislation would direct the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to require certain commercial motor vehicles to be equipped with speed-limiting technology.
Under the measure, the technology would be set to a maximum speed of 65 mph, or 70 mph with adaptive cruise control systems, as well as automatic emergency braking systems. “The safety and security of our families, our friends, and our loved ones is always of the utmost priority,” McBath said soon after the bill’s introduction on May 25. “The Owings family has done so much to protect other children like Cullum and I want to thank them for all they have done.”
Those earmark proposals remain under the microscope by House leadership.
Former President Donald Trump’s message to China.
It’s all about jobs, jobs, jobs.
WH aides avoid acknowledging expanded jobless benefits may keep some workers home— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) June 6, 2021
but outside economists concede it
MIT's Autor: "any fair-minded person would say that. It's possible more people are saying unemployment's pretty good - what's the rush?" https://t.co/9xSaMGuS5v
The Last Word
We must provide moral leadership to eradicate the stigma and discrimination still faced by those living with HIV.
President Biden on June 5.
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