House T&I Democrats Urge Debt Committee to Sufficiently Fund Transportation

AASHTO Journal, 14 October 2011

Democratic members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee released Thursday a report prepared for the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction containing their recommendations on addressing the federal government’s budget deficit.”It is critical that the Joint Select Committee develop a balanced and fair approach to deficit reduction, including identifying revenues to prevent any budget sequestration of job-creating infrastructure investment,” Rep. Nick Rahall II, D-West Virginia and ranking minority member of the House T&I Committee, wrote in a Thursday letter transmitting the report to Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington state, co-chairs of the joint House/Senate panel created by the Budget Control Act of 2011. “In combination, the proposals outlined in the enclosed report will create and sustain millions of family-wage jobs and reduce the deficit by tens of billions of dollars.”

The House T&I Committee Democrats’ 32-page report — “Achieving Deficit Reduction by Creating Jobs; Eliminating Waste, Fraud, and Abuse; and Promoting Efficiency and Reform of Government” — is available at House T&I Committee Republicans have yet to release their recommendations. Congressional committees, interest groups, and the general public all face a deadline of today to submit formal recommendations to the joint committee.

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer, D-California; and Sen. James Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, the committee’s ranking minority member; two weeks ago sent a letter to the co-chairs of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction urging them to identify long-term revenue streams to allow the federal government to invest in highway and transit infrastructure at current levels or greater. (see Oct. 7 AASHTO Journal story)

The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction is comprised of six Democrats and six Republicans — three members of each party from the Senate and three members of each party from the House. It must produce legislation by Nov. 23 that would trim the nation’s $14 trillion deficit by at least $1.2 trillion over the next decade. The House and Senate are required to vote on the panel’s recommendations by Dec. 23 or automatic cuts to most government programs — a process called “sequestration” — would automatically take place in 2013.

More information is available at

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