The Senate Environment & Public Works (EPW) Committee released a bipartisan six-year surface transportation bill late yesterday evening. The bill, titled the MAP-21 Reauthorization Act, will be marked up by the committee on Thursday, May 15, at 9:30am.
The EPW Committee has jurisdiction over the major part of the transportation bill, including highways and other traditional transportation issues like bridges and tunnels. Mass transit falls under the jurisdiction of the Senate Banking Committee, while rail and transportation safety issues are handled by the Senate Commerce Committee. The most critical part of transportation reauthorization – funding – is the responsibility of the Senate Finance Committee. These other three committees have not released any proposed reauthorization language for their titles.
The current transportation authorization bill expires on September 30th, and the Highway Trust Fund is expected to run out of money as early as July. Given the limited time left to address the Highway Trust Fund issue, most believe that there will be a short-term funding patch, leaving the larger reauthorization bill for later in the year.
The EPW legislation comes on the heels of the Obama Administration’s proposed transportation bill unveiled recently by Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. ML Strategies’ summary of the Administration proposal can be found here.