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Senate Committee Leaders Establish Principles for FAST Act Reauthorization
March 1, 2021 by NAPA Government Affairs

The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) held its first hearing of the new Congress. The focus was the need to reauthorize the FAST Act which expires in seven months. The chairman, Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) and ranking member Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) used this hearing to lay out their principles for reauthorization. Sen. Carper laid out three principles from which to develop the legislation. First, “much of our transportation infrastructure is in sorry shape. This is not something the federal government should do alone. This is an all-hands-on-deck moment.” Second, “is that things worth having are worth paying for. We can’t just put all of the improvements that are needed on our country’s credit card.” And third, “those of us who use our nation’s roads, highways, and bridges have a responsibility to help pay for them.” 

Sen. Capito added her perspective on the next bill stating, “a surface transportation reauthorization bill must provide long-term investment in our nation’s roads and bridges in a fiscally responsible manner, without partisan or ‘lightning rod’ pay-fors that could sink a bill; give flexibility to our states and communities to address their unique transportation needs; keep the federal interest focused on providing a connected network of roads and bridges to ensure that all communities and the economy can thrive; facilitate the efficient delivery of projects so that we can improve the safety and resiliency of our surface transportation system; and drive innovation to help pave the way for the system of the future.” Governors Meg Whitman (D-MI) and Larry Hogan (R-MD), along with Denver and New Hampshire transportation officials, testified at the hearing which can be accessed here. Sen. Carper indicated he would like a bill out of the EPW Committee by May. For more information, contact Ashley Jackson or Jay Hansen.

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