Rep. John Mica, the Florida Republican who is poised to chair the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, pledged to speed infrastructure project approvals, unlock any "idle" funding and do "more with less" in federal transport policy.
Mica, who is currently ranking minority member of the T&I panel, issued a statement that spells out some of his priorities and his guiding principles. His party will take control of the House in January after picking up at least 60 seats in a historic wave in the election of Nov. 2.
He will also set committee policy and push legislation without its current chairman, James L. Oberstar. The Minnesota Democrat was toppled Tuesday in a major upset by a political newcomer.
"The American people spoke clearly at the polls," Mica said Nov 3 after winning his 10th term in Congress. "Jobs and the economy continue to be their top concerns. The next Congress must focus on improving employment opportunities and sound fiscal policy."
He said that if named T&I chairman he will focus on "improving employment and expanding economic opportunities, doing more with less, cutting red tape and removing impediments to creating jobs, speeding up the process by which infrastructure projects are approved, and freeing up any infrastructure funding that's been sitting idle."
Mica said his legislative priorities are "passing a long-term federal highway and transit reauthorization, a long-overdue Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization, a new water resources measure, and a long-term Coast Guard reauthorization."
He also plans "major initiatives" to find ways to save federal funds. That includes, he said, "better management and utilization of federal assets, including real property, and more efficient, cost effective passenger rail transportation, including a better directed high-speed rail program."
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