Sep09

House-Passed Bill a Strong Bipartisan Message to Administration That It Cannot Change Law on Its Own & Expand Executive Branch Powers to Regulate Waters

Bipartisan legislation to prevent the Administration from bypassing Congress, changing the scope of existing law without authority, and expanding its own limited powers to regulate waters under the Clean Water Act, was approved by the House of Representatives today.

The Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act (H.R. 5078) is legislation that upholds the federal-state partnership to regulate the Nation’s waters and prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers from implementing a rule that threatens to open many new waters and private property to federal regulation, including ditches, man-made ponds, floodplains, riparian areas, and seasonally-wet areas.

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Jul28

House Approves Transparent Airfares Act

The U.S. House of Representatives today overwhelmingly approved bipartisan legislation to return transparency to U.S. airfare advertising and providing greater clarity for consumers by allowing advertisements for passenger air travel to state the base airfare and separately disclose any government-imposed taxes and fees and the total cost of travel.

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Jul11

Legislation to Prevent Federal Overreach in Regulation of Nation’s Waters Introduced by Committee Leaders

Bipartisan legislation to uphold the federal-state partnership to regulate the Nation’s waters and prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers from implementing a rule that broadens the scope of the Clean Water Act and expands the federal government’s regulatory power was introduced in the House today by Transportation and Infrastructure Committee leaders.

The Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act (H.R. 5078) is sponsored by U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, and is cosponsored by Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA), Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Bob Gibbs (R-OH), and a bipartisan group of additional Members of the House.  A Committee markup scheduled for 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, July 16, 2014 will include H.R. 5078.

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Jul10

Shuster Statement on the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014

Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) released the following statement on H.R. 5021, the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014, a bill introduced in the House by Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI), and cosponsored by Shuster:

“We have an immediate, critical need to address the solvency of the Highway Trust Fund and extend the current surface transportation law.  This bill does that in a responsible way with policies that have all previously received strong bipartisan and bicameral support.  If Congress fails to act, thousands of transportation projects and hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country will be at risk.

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Jun23

Bucshon and Gibbs Host Facebook Q&A to Discuss Innovation in Transportation

This Wednesday at 2:00 pm ET, the 



Bring your questions about driverless vehicles and connected vehicle technologies to the Transportation Facebook Page. The conversation will be led by T&I Members Larry Bucshon and Bob Gibbs, who will speak on their experiences riding in Carnegie Melon University's driverless car and how innovations in transportation will shape our future.

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May20

House Passes Historic Measure to Strengthen Water Resources Infrastructure & America’s Competitiveness


The House of Representatives today overwhelmingly (412 to 4) approved bipartisan water resources reform legislation that cuts federal red tape and bureaucracy, streamlines the infrastructure project delivery process, fosters fiscal responsibility, and strengthens our water transportation networks to promote America’s competitiveness, prosperity, and economic growth.

The House passed the Conference Report to H.R. 3080, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013 (WRRDA), a bill originally introduced in the House by Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA), Committee Ranking Member Nick J. Rahall, II (D-WV), Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Bob Gibbs (R-OH), and Subcommittee Ranking Member Tim Bishop (D-NY).  The Conference Report represents the bipartisan, bicameral agreement between House and Senate conferees responsible for negotiating a final measure between the House- and Senate-passed versions of the bill.

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May19

The Earmark Ban's Progress


A water bill shows what happens when Congress has to set priorities.

Congressional cries to restore earmarks are mounting, and a new favorite argument is that the spenders need the pork authority to properly exercise their Constitutional power of the purse. But if you look at what's happening inside Congress, the opposite is true: The earmark ban is producing more spending accountability and oversight.

Consider the Water Resources Reform and Development Act, which is scheduled for a House vote Tuesday. Water spending bills in the recent past were earmarking extravaganzas. The Army Corps of Engineers would recommend the most pressing water needs. Congress would ignore those and focus spending on hundreds of Member projects.

When Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin now pines for the days when earmarks were the "glue" holding bills together, what he's really missing is leadership's power to dole out home-state patronage. Pork-barrel Republicans who say the earmark ban has transferred spending power to the President are excusing their own unwillingness to set priorities.

Remarkable to behold, something like priority-setting has happened in the current water bill, the first to go through Congress since the 2011 earmark ban. Under the process established by Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster, the Army Corps publishes a federal notice requesting water proposals from non-federal entities.

The Corps reviews them and sends an annual public report to Congress listing the purpose of each proposal, its purported benefits, statements of support and costs. Congress then chooses which projects to approve. Only those included in the Corps report are eligible for authorization.

This process put House Members in control of spending decisions, even as it required them to choose on the basis of fact and analysis—rather than logrolling. Mr. Shuster and Water Resources Subcommittee Chair Bob Gibbs worked both sides of the aisle to agree on priorities, and the initial bill passed 417-3 in October.

The Senate relied on the Corps to select its water projects and the final cost of $12.3 billion is closer to the Senate's more costly request. Yet every project in the final conference committee bill, released Thursday, was subject to the House vetting process. And the price tag is still far less than the $23 billion porkfest of 2007.

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