The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure completed day one of an ongoing markup of two one-sided infrastructure bills that could have been addressed in a bipartisan manner had the Majority been willing to do so.
The Committee first considered and approved a wastewater infrastructure bill (H.R. 1915). This legislation abandoned last year’s bipartisan Committee agreement to reauthorize the Clean Water Act State Revolving Loan (SRF) Program and replaced it with partisan legislation at more than doubled the price tag.
Committee Republicans offered several commonsense amendments to the Majority’s bill, including:an amendment from Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR) to replace today’s bill with the T&I Committee’s unanimously-approved bipartisan bill from last Congress (H.R. 1497 in the 116th Congress); andan amendment from Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Ranking Member David Rouzer (R-NC) to replace today’s bill with the bipartisan wastewater infrastructure provisions taken directly from a bill (S. 914) the Senate approved 89 to 2 on April 29, 2021.
The Committee Majority voted against both amendments and voted to flush bipartisanship down the drain. Click here for Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Sam Graves’ opening statement on H.R. 1915.
The Committee next began consideration of the Majority’s My Way or the Highway Bill 2.0 (H.R. 3684) – a surface transportation bill based on the Majority’s failed partisan bill from last year. Instead of working with Committee Republicans this year to find a compromise that addresses priorities for Members on both sides of the aisle, the Majority elected to move further away from any middle ground and toward the left wing of their party. Click here for Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Sam Graves’ opening statement on H.R. 3684.
Although debate on the highway bill will continue on Thursday, here are some of the Republican amendments the Majority has rejected thus far:
A Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR) amendment to strike a provision that prioritizes state of good repair needs over constructing new highway capacity, which restricts states’ ability to make decisions about whether they need to build new roads and bridges. Click here to watch Rep. Crawford’s statement.
A Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH) amendment to reinstate a prohibition on spending transit funding on art and redirecting any excess transit funding to improving highways. Click here to watch Rep. Gibbs’ statement.
A Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) amendment that eliminates funding for the High-Density State Transit Program (which only benefits 7 Northeast states and Washington, D.C.) and redirects the funding to the urbanized area transit formula grant program that all states can benefit from and utilize. Click here to watch Rep. Perry’s statement.
Rep. Rodney Davis’ (R-IL) One Federal Decision (OFD) amendment to streamline the environmental review and permitting process for major infrastructure projects and limit that process to two years. Click here to watch Rep. Davis’ statement.
A Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA) amendment to close an avenue, through section 401 of the Clean Water Act, that activists and politicians abuse to block infrastructure projects, such as interstate pipelines. Click here to watch Rep. Graves’ statement.
A Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL) amendment that strikes a massive, arbitrary increase to truckers’ minimum insurance requirements from $750,000 to $2 million. Click here to watch Rep. Bost’s statement.
An amendment from Reps. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) and Michelle Steel (R-CA) to prohibit funding from being used for California’s high speed rail project, instead directing any such funding to improve highway-rail grade crossing safety. Click here to watch Rep. LaMalfa’s statement and here to watch Rep. Steel’s statement.
A Rep. Troy Nehls (R-TX) amendment to prevent jurisdictions that have chosen to Defund the Police from using National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) program grants to fund traffic enforcement activities performed by law enforcement officers those communities have defunded. Click here to watch Rep. Nehls’ statement.
The Majority gutted a Rep. Pete Stauber (R-CA) amendment that would have applied Buy America Act requirements to critical minerals used in electric vehicles and ensured that U.S. dollars do not support the Chinese government’s polluting practices or human rights violations. The Majority’s changes to the Stauber amendment removed the provisions noted above, approving only a study of the issue. Click here to watch Rep. Stauber’s statement.
The Committee approved a Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX) amendment to close a loophole to prevent transit funding from flowing to the Chinese government, ensuring that all transit agencies – including Washington D.C.’s Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) – adhere to Buy America Act requirements. Click here to watch Rep. Babin’s statement.
While the markup of H.R. 3684 continues, click here for more information, statements, and video from the first day of the markup, as well as a livestream of the ongoing proceedings.
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