This morning, House leadership announced that they will consider a three-month extension, rather than a full authorization bill, before the March 31 expiration of the federal transportation program. While the Senate successfully – and overwhelmingly – passed a bipartisan authorization bill last week, House leaders appear unwilling to consider a similar bipartisan approach and instead wish to kick the can down the road.
Enter H.R. 14, introduced this morning by Rep. Tim Bishop of New York, along with other ranking Democrats on the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. H.R. 14 is the Senate’s successful MAP-21 legislation packaged in a House bill, and already has over 80 co-sponsors. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has marked H.R. 14 a top priority and other California supporters include Reps. Filner, Richardson, Napolitano, Hahn, Thompson, Speier, McNerney, Honda, Stark, Lofgren, Roybal-Allard, Sherman, Garamendi, Costa, and Linda Sanchez.
“MAP-21 received overwhelming bipartisan support in the Senate due to its huge potential for job creation,” said Rep. Bishop in a press release announcing the legislation. “I have introduced the bill in the House to allow a bipartisan majority in this chamber to pass it as well and move our nation forward.”
We’re still evaluating what the next steps are on the introduction of this bill, sorting out the details, and formulating how T4A California will engage in this process, but we’re encouraged that the coalition’s hard work is continuing to push the debate forward. We’ll have more information soon and will follow up with all of you once we have a better idea of what opportunities this provides to get us closer to passage of a transportation bill that moves California forward. Stay tuned!