Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH), Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, indicated last week that a draft of a House Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) is nearly complete and that he hopes to go to markup after August recess.
Expedited Permitting Legislation
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) will soon introduce a bill aimed at cutting “red tape” and improving the permitting process for large infrastructure projects. The legislation is expected to build on the reforms in P.L. 112-141, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), which address delays in the delivery of transportation projects.
Passenger Rail Reauthorization
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials held a hearing on July 9 titled the “Role of Innovative Finance in Intercity Passenger Rail,” which is one of several hearings the subcommittee has held this year to examine various rail issues. Although the House is progressing toward introducing legislation that would reauthorize the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA), the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee’s Chairman John D. Rockefeller (D-WV) and Ranking Member John Thune (R-SD) have expressed doubts about the Senate’s ability to pass a passenger rail bill before PRIIA expires on September 30.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) reintroduced her infrastructure bank bill on June 27, which she has done repeatedly since 1994. Rep. DeLauro’s bill, the National Infrastructure Development Bank Act of 2013 (H.R. 2553), creates a national infrastructure bank for the purpose of issuing public benefit bonds to help finance transportation, environmental, energy and telecommunications infrastructure projects through grants, loans, and loan guarantees.
This Week’s Hearings:
- Wednesday, July 17: The House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Aviation will hold a hearing titled “Causes of Delays to the FAA’s NextGen Program,” and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s 21st Century Freight Transportation Panel will hold a roundtable discussion titled “Effectively Coordinating Freight Planning Activities.”