Is a new transportation bill finally a reality?

Transportation leaders in the House and Senate say progress is being made on a new transportation bill.

By ·

Still holding your breath to see if our elected leaders might just pass a transportation bill nearly three years after the last bill expired? Well, guess what? You are in luck….sort of.

While House and Senate conferees have been meeting frequently over the past several weeks, reports of any meaningful progress towards a new bill have been lacking. With the ninth continuing resolution—political speak for “extension”—of the old bill, SAFETEA-LU—expiring at the end of the month (which keeps spending at previous and now clearly underfunded levels), it has been widely assumed a tenth one is en route for myriad reasons.

That was the general consensus, until today anyhow.

Earlier in the day, U.S. Rep. John L. Mica (R-FL), Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee issued a statement about the bill and the negotiations. And if what they are saying ends up becoming a reality, it stands to reason that it is good news for freight transportation stakeholders everywhere.

“The conferees have moved forward toward a bipartisan, bicameral agreement on a highway reauthorization bill,” said Mica and Boxer. “Both House and Senate conferees will continue to work with a goal of completing a package by next week.”

This development was widely embraced by Janet Kavinoky, executive director of transportation and infrastructure for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“It is time for Congress to pass a transportation reauthorization bill and send it to the president for his signature,” said Kavinoky. “We are increasingly confident that this agreement will include critical reforms that will greatly improve the business of transportation investment in this country.  The conference committee appears poised to advance policies that will consolidate overlapping and duplicative federal programs; streamline the project delivery process to shorten project times and save limited federal dollars; give states the flexibility to target federal funds where they are most needed; and increase opportunities for private investment.  It is our hope that the Congress will also provide much needed certainty by maintaining funding levels over the next year and a half. Legislation to improve this country’s transportation system is long overdue and will help stabilize critical parts of the economy and strengthen our competitive edge.”

Now, we wait and see what happens next week. It seems like there is reason for optimism. Let’s hope that is the case.


About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
New Supply Chain Technology Best Practices
New breakthrough developments, such as drones and driverless vehicles, seem to be everywhere.
Download Today!
From the October 2017 Logistics Management Magazine Issue
A leading distributor of professional salon products in the U.S. forms unique partnerships with its key LTLs to lower transport costs, reduce its carbon footprint and improve service to its 565 store locations.
Q4 2017 Rail/Intermodal Roundtable: Improvements apparent; work remains
LM Viewpoint: Collaboration, Now more than ever
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
The State of the Rail/Intermodal Markets
In this webinar our panel will discuss the new service challenges facing rail/intermodal providers and offer practical advice for how shippers can keep efficiency high and costs down.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
SalonCentric: One Beautiful Network
A leading distributor of professional salon products in the U.S. forms unique partnerships with its...
2017 Alliance Awards: Recognizing outstanding supply chain partnerships
In an era where effective supply chain collaboration is both highly valued and elusive, Logistics...

26th Annual Study of Logistics and Transportation Trends: Transportation at Digital Speed
While a majority of companies strongly agree that transportation is a strategically important...
34th Annual Quest for Quality Awards: Winners Revealed
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers, and North American ports have crossed the service...