AASHTO Journal, 10 February 2012
The Rules Committee Print of HR 7, the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act, incorporates highway, transit, rail, and safety sections approved by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee; revenue provisions passed by the House Ways and Means Committee; expanded domestic oil and gas drilling policies cleared by the House Natural Resources Committee; and a section dealing with federal review of the Keystone XL pipeline added by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. (see Feb. 3 AASHTO Journal story for details of last week’s committee markups)
Funding components in the merged bill include modifications to federal employee pensions that are similar to HR 3813, a measure approved 22-16 Tuesday by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that would increase federal government employee contributions to their retirement plans by 1.5% of their salaries. This funding would be used to close the Highway Trust Fund gap. The Congressional Budget Office estimated the plan would raise about $45 billion in revenue — more than enough to cover the $40 billion General Fund transfer the Ways and Means Committee has proposed to fund a new “Alternative Transportation Account” within the Highway Trust Fund.
Transit advocates have objected to eliminating the trust fund’s existing Mass Transit Account and shifting the 2.86-cents-per-gallon dedicated federal motor-fuels tax from transit to roads and bridges. (see related story)
Full text of the Rules Committee Print is available at bit.ly/HR7RCP. A 91-page summary is available at 1.usa.gov/HR7RCPanalysis. A list of floor amendments filed is available at bit.ly/HR7amendments. Republican-prepared House T&I Committee funding charts for each state are available at bit.ly/HR7majority and Democratic-prepared House T&I Committee charts are available at bit.ly/HR7minority.