Senate EPW Committee Unanimously Passes Bipartisan Transportation Reauthorization Bill
This morning, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) passed their bipartisan, five-year transportation reauthorization bill, the “Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act of 2021” with a 20-0 vote.
The STRA Bill is truly a bipartisan product and targets three of the committee’s priorities, including climate change, safety, and equity issues.
The bill authorizes $303.5 billion for surface transportation over a five-year period (FYs 2022-2026) and represents a 34% increase over FAST Act funding levels. Additionally, 90% of the funds are distributed via formula programs and are intended to help both urban and rural areas. The bill maintains flexibility for agencies and includes several streamlining provisions, including codifying the One-Federal Decision from the previous administration. The Bill also places no restrictions on capacity addition for National Highway Performance Program or the Surface Transportation Block Grant Program. STRA also creates a National VMT pilot to study sustainable revenue sources for the surface transportation program moving forward. In addition, the Bill does renew the ACPA conceived and championed Accelerated Implementation and Deployment of Pavement Technology (AID-PT) set aside at $12 million per year.
Yesterday, ACPA sent a letter to Senate EPW leadership urging passage of the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act of 2021. You can read the letter HERE. “ACPA very much appreciates the great example of bipartisanship exhibited by the EPW Committee, and congratulates both Committee leadership and staff for their hard work” stated Leif Wathne, ACPA Executive Vice President. “We urge the full Senate to take up and pass substantial long-term infrastructure legislation in the coming weeks.”
Next, the other Senate transportation committees will need to move forward. The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation is likely to markup their title after the Memorial Day recess. Senate Banking and the Finance Committee will need to move their titles shortly after that to proceed this summer with the transportation reauthorization and get the bill to the Senate Floor.
Additionally, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure will likely markup their bill during the second week of June.
ACPA will continue to stay engaged in these efforts as developments unfold in the coming weeks.
Follow this link to see ACPA’s government affairs repository.