U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), chair of the Surface Transportation, & Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, & Security Subcommittee, will convene a hearing titled, “Surface Transportation Reauthorization: The Importance of a Long Term Reauthorization” on Tuesday, May 5, 2015 at **10:30 a.m.
The third in a series of hearings on the reauthorization of highway safety programs under the Committee’s jurisdiction, this hearing will focus on the importance of a long-term surface transportation reauthorization. Witnesses will testify to the local and state impacts of national surface transportation policy and the need for a long-term reauthorization bill.
- Mr. Curt Bramble, President Elect of the
National Council of State Legislatures and Senate President Pro Tempore
of the Utah State Senate
- Ms. Janet F. Kavinoky, Vice President, Americans for Transportation Mobility, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
- Mr. Brian C. Wahler, Mayor of Piscataway, President of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities
- Mr. Nick Yaksich, Vice President, Association of Equipment Manufacturers
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Subcommittee on Surface Transportation, & Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, & Security hearing titled, “Surface Transportation Reauthorization: The Importance of a Long Term Reauthorization”
This hearing will take place in Senate Russell Office Building, Room 253. Witness testimony, opening statements, and a live video of the hearing will be available at this page.
For reporters interested in reserving a seat, please contact the press gallery:
• Periodical Press Gallery – 202-224-0265
• Radio/Television Gallery – 202-224-6421
• Press Photographers Gallery – 202-224-6548
• Daily Press Gallery – 202-224-0241
Individuals with disabilities who require an auxiliary aid or service, including closed captioning service for the webcast hearing, should contact Stephanie Gamache at 202-224-5511 at least three business days in advance of the hearing date.
Senator Deb Fischer
"Good Morning. I am pleased to convene the Senate Subcommittee on Surface Transportation & Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security for our sixth hearing, titled “The Importance of a Long Term Reauthorization.”
"Today’s hearing is the third in a series on the reauthorization of our nation’s surface transportation programs. Our hearing will highlight the importance of a long-term transportation reauthorization. Senators will hear perspectives from local and state officials, manufacturers and private businesses on the importance of long-term transportation policy.
"As many of you here know, at the end of this month, authorization for surface transportation programs will expire. A short-term extension is highly likely. According to the latest projections, by August, the highway trust fund will run out of money.
"The time for action is now.
"Although the United States leads in so many areas, we are falling behind when it comes our nation’s infrastructure. Our highways and bridges are in dire need of investment. In 2013, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) issued a report card on America’s infrastructure, giving our roads a grade of D and bridges a grade of C+.
"States and local governments need more tools at their disposal to address the growing challenge of sustaining local infrastructure and transportation systems. As one state department of transportation director recently testified before this Subcommittee, states allocate limited transportation resources not by “need” versus “want,” but based on which projects must be initiated now versus those that can be delayed.
"The nation’s economy depends on an efficient and reliable transportation network.
"With expanding global trade volumes, America’s economic growth will depend on the resilience of our intermodal surface transportation system.
"With the upcoming transportation reauthorization, we must keep in mind that nearly 95 percent of all consumers reside outside of the United States. Without adequate infrastructure, U.S. manufacturers and businesses will pay the price in delayed or missed shipments and lost market-share abroad.
"As Congress looks to reauthorize surface transportation programs, we must ensure that transportation regulations meet their intended safety goals, while providing as little economic harm as possible.
"Congress must hold regulators to a higher standard, particularly when it comes to balancing the goals of safety with the costs of regulatory compliance. It is key that we incorporate innovative approaches and technology into our regulatory framework.
"For example, Congress should continue on the path that MAP-21 created for performance-based standards for grants and safety regulations. Performance targets will allow agencies to better allocate already-scarce transportation resources and encourage private sector innovation.
"Each day, American families, consumers, workers, and businesses depend upon a safe and reliable transportation system. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate and stakeholders to find a long-term sustainable approach towards addressing our nation’s transportation needs.
"I would now like to invite Senator Booker to offer opening remarks."
Witness Panel 1
Mr. Curt BramblePresident ElectNational Council of State Legislatures and Senate President Pro Tempore of the Utah State Senate
Ms. Janet F. KavinokyVice President, Americans for Transportation MobilityU.S. Chamber of Commerce
Mr. Brian C. WahlerMayor of PiscatawayPresident of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities
Mr. Nick YaksichVice PresidentAssociation of Equipment Manufacturers