U.S. Senate Moves Forward On Surface Transportation Bill – House Of Representatives Struggles To Do The Same

Here’s the update from Metro’s government relations staff:

Following a bi-partisan agreement by leaders last night, the U.S. Senate is considering a series of amendments today to its surface transportation bill, S.1813 (Moving Ahead For Progress in the 21st Century). The bill, which includes an innovative finance section titled America Fast Forward, is expected to face a final vote next Tuesday.

The Chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and our agency’s Chairman, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, met yesterday in Washington, D.C. with over 150 business and civic leaders from Los Angeles County to express the urgent need to adopt S.1813 without delay.

Meanwhile, in the U.S. House of Representatives, Speaker Boehner earlier this morning expressed a desire to bring the Senate bill before his body for a vote. However, after reports that his Republican Caucus sharply criticized the idea of bypassing the House transportation bill crafted by Chairman John Mica (R-FL) of the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, the Speaker tweeted the following at 1:06 pm (EST): “Reports of ‘giving up’ on House hwy bill = false. There is a better way. Hope we can seize it.”

Our agency will continue to closely monitor the surface transportation bills in both the House and Senate.

The America Fast Forward part of the bill would expand the federal TIFA program, which provides loans and credit to large transportation projects of regional and national signifcance. For more info, click here.