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Posts in "Budget"
September 23, 2014
The National Association of Manufacturers renewed its call Tuesday for more infrastructure spending, issuing a report saying that “infrastructure spending has been on a decade-long decline” and that “when measured in proportion to GDP, the downward trajectory of infrastructure investment becomes even more stark and worrisome.”
September 18, 2014
Travel industry leaders are applauding a unanimous House vote Wednesday to roll back Transportation Security Administration fees.
The 2013 budget accord had increased the security-related fees to $5.60 per one-way trip. Previously, the fee had been $2.50 per enplanement (boarding a flight) with a cap of $10.
September 17, 2014
Nostalgia for earmarks — voiced in May by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and in July by Reps. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., and Tom Cole, R-Okla. — was heard again Wednesday at a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee press conference.
Regretting the ban, which House Republican leaders imposed on appropriations earmarks in 2011, Rep. John J. Duncan Jr., R-Tenn., said, “That was one of the biggest mistakes that we ever made. We didn’t save any money; we just put more power in the bureaucracy.”
July 22, 2014
The next time you overhear French tourists visiting your city or town, don’t forget to say “Merci beaucoup” to them for doing their part in deficit reduction.
On Tuesday the House will vote on a bill that in effect taxes certain visitors to the United States to pay for a marketing effort to encourage other foreigners to come visit. The Congressional Budget Office says the bill will reduce cumulative deficits over 10 years by $231 million, since the revenues would exceed the money to be spent on marketing.
July 18, 2014
The 10-month Highway Trust Fund bill that the House passed last week is hardly the first piece of legislation that features a mishmash of pay-for provisions intended to keep it from increasing the deficit. This time around, one of the primary revenue-raisers ($6.4 billion worth) is a “pension smoothing” provision.
Never heard of that accounting maneuver? CQ Roll Call’s Emma Dumain and David Harrison explain it this way: Full story
July 16, 2014
House Republicans reached back to recent history yesterday to rebut Democratic critics who blame them for not working on a multi-year transportation authorization bill.
Why, they demanded, did President Barack Obama not push for a multi-year transportation bill at height of his power in 2009 when his party controlled both branches of Congress?
July 15, 2014
The House Rules Committee – where the majority party always wins and the votes always split along party lines – was the setting Monday evening for a momentary bipartisan call to bring back earmarks as a way to lubricate passage of transportation bills.
Earmarks – money in authorization or appropriations bills that was targeted to benefit a specific congressional district or a particular project – were banned by the House in 2011.
July 14, 2014
As the House Rules Committee was about to take up a bill Monday to replenish the Highway Trust fund, the conservative advocacy group Heritage Action made this week’s floor vote on the bill a “key vote” for its scorecard. This sets the stage for an election-year litmus test for Republican lawmakers.
The nation’s capital will be busy with transportation events this week:
On Monday, the Energy Department’s Energy Information Agency starts its annual conference. Among the speakers will be the head of a company controversially involved in rail shipments of Bakken crude oil from North Dakota, Global Partners president and CEO Eric Slifka.
July 11, 2014
The oil boom that has sparked controversy over rail shipments of Bakken crude from North Dakota has also been a boon for U.S. shipyards.
This week we interviewed Matthew Paxton, the president of the Shipbuilders Council of America, on the health of the U.S. shipbuilding industry. His organization represents small shipyards that build fishing vessels as well as large companies such as Huntington Ingalls and General Dynamics which turn out aircraft carriers and submarines.
July 10, 2014
The tax-writing committees in both the House and the Senate on Thursday approved bills to raise revenue to replenish the Highway Trust Fund.
The committees’ votes put Congress closer to preventing a slowdown in federal money to states, which are now in the middle of road-building season.
July 3, 2014
There’ll be an intense effort this month to find the revenue to sustain the faltering Highway Trust Fund. But perhaps the most heated transportation fight in July will come on an entirely different issue – reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank.
Amtrak is shopping for new trains for its Acela Express. It remains to be seen whether they will be built in the United States.
On Wednesday Amtrak announced that it had issued Request for Proposals (RFP) asking train manufacturers to submit bids by Oct. 1 for up to 28 high-speed trainsets which could meet or exceed current Acela trip-times on the Boston-to-Washington corridor.
July 1, 2014
“Go Team USA — Let’s build some bridges!” President Barack Obama told a crowd at the Key Bridge in Washington on Tuesday afternoon as he urged Congress to pass a bill to refill the Highway Trust Fund.
If Congress can’t figure out a way to raise the revenue for building infrastructure, it will be “like Congress threatening to lay off the entire population of Denver or Seattle or Boston” due to the construction jobs that will be at risk, Obama told the crowd.
The president explained that under his administration’s $302 billion, four-year Grow America Act proposal, “We pay for it in part by closing tax loopholes for companies that are shipping their profits overseas to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.”
Earlier Tuesday reporters pressed Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on why he and Obama haven’t called for an increase in the 18.4-cent-per-gallon tax on gasoline.
June 27, 2014
The Federal Railroad Administration says it has issued a Record of Decision for the 114-mile Fresno to Bakersfield section of California’s High-Speed Train System.
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx called the decision “a major step forward, both for the State of California and for High Performance rail in the U.S.”