Friday, February 11, 2011

The House Transportation Committee Hearings, coming to a city near you

Mike Akita just reminded me of an upcoming hearing in Fresno led by John Mica, Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.  Mica is going to several cities in California to get a sense of what the voters actually want.   The press release is below.

We posted information that was available some time ago and we are repeating it here again.  Between February 17th and the 25th.  I have no more specific information about it at this time. If you do, please let me know and I will post it here immediately.

As you know by reading any newspaper today, the Republicans are on a budget slashing bender.  They are attacking all discretionary spending with zeal and determination.  They've already indicated their decision to cut $1 billion for HSR out of the current budget which still has six months to go.  They are going for zero HSR funding for the anticipated Transportation Budget authorization.

The moderate Republicans are being pushed very hard by the new radical Right wing of their party.  Negotiations with the Democrats will be fierce.

So, going to Fresno is critical for all of us seeking to end the high-speed rail nightmare on the Peninsula, in California, and in the United States.  Mica has said that he wants to learn more about the California project.  We have a duty to inform him of the ugly realities behind the glossy CHSRA press releases. 


February 2, 2011

Washington, DC – Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John L. Mica (R-FL) today announced the locations for a series of national field hearings and public forums on pending major surface transportation legislation.

The nationwide meetings with state and local officials and transportation stakeholders will help inform the Committee’s drafting of a long-term reauthorization of the nation’s highway, transit, and highway safety programs. The legislation will help improve our transportation infrastructure and promote job creation in the nation’s hard-hit construction industry.

The Committee will seek input on how to consolidate and improve the performance of programs, cut government red tape and streamline the project delivery process, increase private sector investment in our infrastructure, identify creative financing alternatives, and other ideas for writing the legislation. The previous multi-year law (SAFETEA- LU) expired in September 2009.

“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.

Chairman Mica, Members of the Committee and other lawmakers will participate in the hearings and meetings, which will begin on February 14, 2011 in West Virginia, home state of the Committee’s Ranking Democrat Member Nick J. Rahall. At least a dozen other sessions across numerous states are currently planned for February 17-25, including a joint House-Senate hearing in Los Angeles in cooperation with Senator Barbara Boxer, Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. (Further details regarding meetings will be announced at a later date.)

The Committee will travel to the following communities to gather information for the transportation reauthorization bill:

Beckley, West Virginia; Charleston, West Virginia; the Philadelphia Metropolitan area; Scranton, Pennsylvania; Rochester, New York; Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis, Indiana; the Chicago Metropolitan area; Vancouver, Washington; Fresno, California; Los Angeles; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Jonesboro, Arkansas; the Memphis Metropolitan area.
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