Hearings scheduled on fed transportation bill

| 2/3/2011

The U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is taking the show on the road to gather input and promote the passage of a comprehensive surface transportation bill. OOIDA and truckers are looking forward to the dialogue to help shape the outcome of a bill and its policies.

T&I Chairman John Mica, R-FL, announced a series of field hearings to take place Feb. 16-25 in more than two dozen cities, including a joint House-Senate hearing in Los Angeles.

?The best ideas to improve and streamline government programs often come from outside of Washington, and before we draft any legislation these meetings will provide the committee with valuable insight and information,? Mica said in a statement Wednesday, Feb. 2.

The first hearing is Monday, Feb. 14, in Beckley, WV, home area of the committee?s ranking Democrat, Nick Rahall. Details are being worked out.

Additional hearings are being scheduled in Charleston, WV; Philadelphia; Scranton, PA; Rochester, NY; Columbus, OH; Indianapolis; Chicago; Vancouver, WA; Fresno, CA; Los Angeles; Oklahoma City; Jonesboro, AR; and Memphis, TN.

The Los Angeles hearing will be a joint venture of the House T&I Committee and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, led by Chairman Barbara Boxer, D-CA, and ranking Republican James Inhofe of Oklahoma.

In addition to the T&I sessions and scheduled joint session, Senate EPW leadership will have a separate hearing of its own on Feb. 16 to discuss a surface transportation bill. Scheduled to testify will be U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

?At a time that our country is aware of a huge employment rate among construction workers, as well as enduring a huge backlog of highway and transit improvements, I look forward to hearing from two leaders who have come together in a rare show of unity,? Boxer said in a statement released by her office.

?As one who has been ranked as the most conservative member of the U.S. Senate, I feel that there are two areas that deserve greater funding: national defense and infrastructure. America desperately needs a robust transportation bill,? Inhofe said in a statement.