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Eno Transportation Weekly

Category: Governance

Key Senators Introduce Bill Banning Transit Agencies From Procuring Rolling Stock from China-Based Manufacturers

March 14, 2019 – Today, a bipartisan group of Senators, including the chairman and ranking minority member of the committee with jurisdiction over mass transit issues, introduced a bill that would ban U.S. transit agencies from buying rail cars or buses made by any company that is “owned or controlled by, is a subsidiary of, or is otherwise related legally or financially to a corporation” located in the People’s Republic of China.

Schumer Will Seek To Force Gateway Funding in Next “Must-Pass” Spending Bill

March 8, 2019 – This week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told an Association for Better New York breakfast meeting that he wants to attach legislation forcing the federal government to start funding a $13.6 billion project to build new passenger rail tunnels under the Hudson River to the next “must-pass” spending bill. But it’s hard to see Schumer getting what he wants without either violating Congress’s ban on earmarks, or else fundamentally restructuring the mass transit Capital Investment Grant program.

DeFazio Introduces $24 Billion Clean Water SRF Reauthorization Bill

March 7, 2019 – This week, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee chairman Grace Napolitano (D-CA) introduced legislation reauthorizing various federal grant programs under the Clean Water Act at levels that will more than double recent funding amounts.

Pricing Strategies to De-Congest Cities

March 8, 2019 – In the country’s two biggest metropolitan areas, political leaders took big steps toward full-scale congestion pricing strategies last week.

California HSR Authority Responds to FRA Attempt to Cancel Their Grant

March 8, 2019 – On March 4, the California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) issued a formal response to the Federal Railroad Administration’s February 19 notice that it intended to cancel the $929 million grant of fiscal year 2010 appropriations promised by the Obama Administration for the Golden State’s troubled high-speed rail project.

Capitol Hill Events – Week of March 11, 2019

Tuesday, March 12 – House Transportation and Infrastructure – Subcommittee on Aviation – subcommittee hearing entitled “Looking Forward: Aviation 2050” (witness list here) – 10:00 a.m., HVC-210 The Capitol.

Is Congress Running Out of Time to Bring Back Earmarks? (For FY20, At Least)

March 1, 2019 – The decision of whether or not to revive the earmarking process has to be made by party leaders, who have been slow to address the issue this year. And with the Appropriations Committee preparing to start drafting fiscal 2020 appropriations bills in April, and with T&I possibly acting on some kind of infrastructure legislation in the coming months, there are only a few weeks left for leaders to make the decisions on earmarks before they risk losing the opportunity to earmark those bills.

Homeland Panel Examines Cyber Threats to Surface Transportation

March 1, 2019 – On February 26, the House Homeland Security Committee held a joint hearing to look at ways to secure the U.S. surface transportation system from cyber attacks, including potential threats posted by Chinese manufacture of rail cars.

Grassley, Wyden Push Railroad, Alternative Fuel Tax Break Extensions

March 1, 2019 – Yesterday, the chairman and ranking Democrat of the Senate Finance Committee, Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR), jointly introduced legislation that would provide temporary extensions of numerous targeted tax breaks that expired at the end of 2017 or 2018.

CBO Estimates New FY20-21 Spending Cap Levels

March 1, 2019 – This week, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released its estimates of what the Budget Control Act spending caps on discretionary appropriations will be in the upcoming fiscal year (2020) and the final year under which the caps currently apply, 2021.

Capitol Hill Events – Week of March 4, 2019

Wednesday, March 6, 2019 – House Transportation and Infrastructure – Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation – subcommittee hearing on the U.S. maritime and shipbuilding industries (witness list here) – 10:00 a.m., 2253 Rayburn.

Reform or Revolution? Preparing Transportation’s institutions for the Future

February 22, 2019 – Eno and the Reason Foundation recently gathered 24 leading academics, current and former agency heads, and other experts for a two-day workshop on institutional reform. The goal was to understand the current governance challenges and ways in which the transportation industry may consider ways to rethink it.

The Gas Tax At 100: Federal Gasoline Tax Debate, 1864-1918

February 22, 2019 – As we prepare to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the enactment of the first motor fuels tax by Oregon in February 1919, here is a look at unsuccessful attempts to tax gasoline in Congress from 1914 through 1918.

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