Posted on February 21, 2012 11:01 AM
Reauthorization Bills to be Considered Next Week
On February 17, 2012, the U.S. Senate failed to invoke cloture on a package of committee-approved amendments to Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), its proposed federal transportation reauthorization bill. If approved, the package would have blocked further amendment to the bill. Several senators offered non-germane amendments to MAP-21 last week, including topics such as energy development , foreign aid to Egypt, and insurance coverage for birth control. The Senate is in recess this week for the Presidents’ Day holiday, so floor consideration for MAP-21 will resume Monday, February 27.
The U.S. House of Representatives will also delay consideration of its transportation reauthorization bill, the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act (AEIJA), until next week. Due in part to 300 amendments filed, House leadership moved last week to split the bill into three components, one to contain the core transportation provisions, one to contain the energy production provisions, and one to contain additional finance provisions. The House passed the energy provisions on February 16. One of the House’s key funding offsets, increased federal employee pension contributions, was included in last week’s deal to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits.
On February 10, the Congressional Research Service released this summary of the Senate and House transportation reauthorization bills. For CMAP’s position, take a look at our Policy Updates for MAP-21 and AEIJA. The current extension of the federal surface transportation program expires on March 31.
In other news, President Obama signed a four-year, $64 billion Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill on February 14. The FAA Modernization and Reform Act will provide nearly $60 billion annually through FY2015 and emphasizes safety and modernization programs. For more information on the bill, consult this press release from the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.