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As announced yesterday, leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives have decided to delay consideration of the transportation and tax titles of the surface transportation authorization bill, until Congress returns from the President’s Day district work period on February 27. In delaying consideration of these parts of the bill, the leadership also cancelled the Rules Committee meeting previously scheduled for yesterday, where the Rules Committee planned to decide which amendments – including those on dedicated funding for transit and other transit issues – would be considered on the House Floor. The House is currently debating the parts of the bill that would raise revenues through expanded oil exploration, and it could also debate parts of the bill related to changing federal pensions to offset transportation spending authorized in the bill.
Separately, the House is also expected to vote on the conference agreement to extend the payroll tax holiday, extend unemployment insurance, and address payments under Medicaid.
APTA members need to continue to urge their Representatives to support a rule that allows consideration of the Nadler-LaTourette-Blumenauer-Gibson-Crowley-Turner-Rangle-Grimm-Lewis-Fitzpatrick-Norton-Hayworth-Lipinski-Dold Amendment on the House Floor and to support the amendment to restore dedicated transit funding when it is offered.
Action Alert – U.S. House of Representatives
- APTA urges members to ask for a meeting with your Member of Congress next week during the President’s Day district work period;
- If a meeting is not possible, APTA urges members to call your Representatives in the House and ask them to urge the House Rules Committee to allow a vote on the bipartisan Nadler-LaTourette--Blumenauer-Gibson-Crowley-Turner-Rangle-Grimm-Lewis-Fitzpatrick-Norton-Hayworth-Lipinski-Dold amendment;
- Urge your Representatives to vote for this amendment when it is considered;
- Find your representative
Senate Transportation Bill Also Stalled Over Non-Transportation Issues
Meanwhile, in the U.S. Senate, leaders are trying to begin consideration of its version of the surface transportation authorization, which is being blocked by Senators who want an opportunity to offer amendments on issues such as cutting off U.S. foreign aid to Egypt, the Keystone XL pipeline, and several other issues unrelated to transportation. Debate and amendments on the transportation portions of the bill is not expected to occur in the Senate until after Congress returns from its recess on February 27. Like the House, the Senate is expected to act on conference agreement on the Payroll Tax bill before it leaves for the week.
Action Alert – U.S. Senate
- APTA urges members to call their Senators and thank them for the bipartisan effort to enact a multi-year surface transportation authorization bill;
- Urge Senators to do everything possible to advance the bill and avoid delays caused by issues unrelated to the surface transportation legislation.
For questions on these issues, please contact Brian Tynan of APTA’s Government Affairs Department at (202) 496-4897, or firstname.lastname@example.org.