Statement by the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Emil Frankel on the Senate EPW Committee’s Transportation Bill Outline

Washington, D.C. - The following is a statement by Emil Frankel, Director of Transportation Policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC), following the recent release of an outline detailing the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s transportation reauthorization bill:

“Chairman Boxer’s and Ranking Member Inhofe’s outline of the principles and major recommendations of MAP-21, the bipartisan legislation of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), is an important contribution to the discussion about the necessary elements of a new surface transportation bill.

“This outline captures many of the reforms that BPC’s National Transportation Policy Project (NTPP) believes are critical to securing broad public support for critical and necessary investments in the nation’s transportation infrastructure, including: its emphasis on program consolidation, performance, and outcomes; its proposed elimination of earmarks; its recommendation for improvements to transportation planning; its support for focusing research on national priorities; and its call to increase and reform the TIFIA program. NTPP also urges EPW to include in its bill detailed provisions for a new national competitive freight and goods movement program and to make specific proposals for the elimination of those federal barriers that inhibit states and metropolitan regions, in developing new revenue streams and additional sources of investment capital.

“It is necessary that future transportation policy and investment be made in the context of the current budget realities of severe fiscal constraint, and we are pleased that EPW has highlighted the importance of an authorization bill that does not increase the deficit. We look forward to working with Chairman Boxer, Ranking Member Inhofe and Members of EPW to insure that the new bill is founded on a clear articulation of national goals and purposes, and provides the resources and tools necessary for performance-based programs and priority-setting.”

NTPP recently released a blueprint detailing how available funds can be used with greater focus, accountability, and results to advance critical national needs and priorities for our surface transportation programs. NTPP’s plan, Performance Driven: Achieving Wiser Investment in Transportation, recommended reforms to consolidate and scale back the existing federal transportation program and to target scarce federal resources to a set of specific national goals. Those goals include advancing economic growth, improving national connectivity, promoting metropolitan accessibility, improving energy security and environmental sustainability, and fostering safety. To read the full report, please click here.

About the Bipartisan Policy Center
Founded in 2007 by former Senate Majority Leaders Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, Bob Dole and George Mitchell, the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) is a non-profit organization that drives principled solutions through rigorous analysis, reasoned negotiation, and respectful dialogue. With projects in multiple issue areas, BPC combines politically-balanced policymaking with strong, proactive advocacy and outreach. For more information, please visit our website: www.bipartisanpolicy.org.

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