Legislative Activity

Senate Confirmation Vote

Last Monday, June 10, the Senate Commerce Committee unanimously approved the nomination of Mayor Anthony Foxx to be the next Secretary of Transportation. Following the Committee vote, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) stated that a floor vote on Mr. Foxx’s nomination could come before the Fourth of July recess, but that he could not yet give a firm date. During the committee business meeting, Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) also announced that Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) will become the Chairman of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security following the death of Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ).

Transportation Appropriations

Senate appropriations staff this week indicated that the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill may go to a subcommittee markup on June 25 and full committee markup on June 27. The THUD markup in the House is scheduled for Wednesday, June 19, at 11:00 am.

This Week’s Hearings:

  • Wednesday, June 19: The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will hold a full committee hearing on “Passenger and Freight Rail Safety”
  • Wednesday, June 19: The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety and Security will hold a hearing on “Airline Industry Consolidation.”
  • Wednesday, June 19: The House Appropriations THUD Subcommittee will hold a markup at 11:00 am on the FY 2014 THUD appropriations bill.
  • Wednesday, June 26: The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will hold a full committee hearing on “Freight Transportation System Efficiency.”

Executive Branch Activity

Surface Transportation Financing

This week, Department of Transportation (DOT) Under Secretary for Policy Polly Trottenberg indicated that the Administration is working on ideas to address the large funding shortfall for surface transportation that lawmakers will again face as soon as MAP-21 expires. However, she indicated – as many stakeholders have suggested – that the best chance for a revenue solution may be part of a broader fiscal package. Under Secretary Trottenberg was quoted as saying regarding a funding solution that “clearly it’s going to need to be part of a larger, bipartisan discussion that’s going to take place in the context of a larger budget overhaul.”